The worst mortification for a professional. Could there be anything more worse we can say about you and your work than the phrase “You are unprepared.”
But the word “unprepared” means two things, not just one.
Recall your school days, there is the unprepared(ness) of the quiz at school, of forgetting your lines in a script in drama skit , it’s like showing up for a gunfight in cowboy movies with a knife…
And then there is the unprepared of the industrial world, the unprepared of being an industrial cog in an industrial system, a cog that is out-of-sync, disconnected and poorly maintained.
We’ve been so terrified into the importance of preparation, it’s spilled over into that other realm, the realm of life where we have no choice but to be unprepared.
And there is the ‘ Underprepared’. What the hell. It is either Prepared or Unprepared. The modern business world has no room for mediocrity.
So what about the other kind?
We are unprepared to do something for the first time, always.
We are unprepared to create a new kind of beauty, to connect with another human in a way that we’ve never connected before.
We are unprepared for our first bestseller, or for a massive failure unlike any we’ve ever seen before. We are unprepared to fall in love, and to be loved.
We are unprepared for the reaction when we surprise and delight someone, and unprepared, we must be unprepared, for the next breakthrough.
My take is-
If you demand that everything that happens be something you are adequately prepared for, I wonder if you’ve chosen never to leap in ways that we need you to leap. Once we embrace this chasm, then for the things for which we can never be prepared, we are of course, always prepared.
So take on the World , create a breakthrough, make current past redundant, steal that bag of Santa Clause and continue to surprise everyone including yourself.
And finally quit when at the top. Do it by choice and not out of compulsion