Prepare, to be better

Only a small amount of paint on the ceiling, dog, and suit. Another success. 

The mistakes are hardly noticeable and you finished painting in record time, allowing you to get back to Netflix before they found a way to get commercials showing.

And yet, it’s sloppy. One room, two rooms, soon the entire house looks like a kids colouring book on a glitter binge. Anyone who has painted a room, car, or object knows the best results come from preparation. It’s not uncommon to spend 1 hour or more preparing for 15 minutes of painting.

We know this about preparation, but we don’t apply this in other areas of our life. Preparation is about managing risk to change the output. Managing risk is something that needs to be done at home or with any project crossing your desk. Big or small.


Manage your luck

Classic enterprise risk management looks at 4 main ways of dealing with risk:

  1. Avoid the risk (Define your luck)
  2. Reduce the risk (Prepare your luck)
  3. Transfer the risk (Delegate your luck)
  4. Accept the risk (Good luck!)

Reducing the risk to prepare your luck will have the most noticeable impact on how others view your output.

Prepare your luck

Proper preparation forces us to consciously choose our actions. Making a choice to decline, delegate, or properly prepare for a task ensures thought has been put to your actions. Without thought you are accepting the risk you will likely be unprepared and unconvincing on the delivery.

What might proper preparation look like?

  • 60 minutes of preparing for a 30 minute monthly internal meeting.
  • 2 hours of preparing for an important 30 minute external client meeting.
  • 3 hours of practicing on video for a 10 minute presentation to colleagues and senior executives.

As with painting, failure to prepare will increase your chances of looking sloppy and you’ll miss an opportunity to be better. Preparing for what others don’t will make you stand out as you get more done.

Prepare, to be better.

Tim Rhodes

Tim works proudly with TD Bank Group, he is the creator and curator of this project (500 Lessons). Having just moved across the country to Toronto, he is looking for new community volunteering opportunities!

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The opinions and articles shared on this site by Tim are entirely his own unless otherwise credited, and are not representative of TD's views, position, strategies, or opinions.

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