Anyone living along the route of Hurricane Sandy spent this weekend making preparations for her arrival. We, along with the rest of the country were inundated with messages of what was going to happen to us. We got advice from everyone on how to prepare. I received voice messages from my cable company, emails from my power company, and too many to count news broadcasts on what to do to prepare for high winds and heavy rains.

This experience reminded me of the need for preparation in our work. Too many times I know I am guilty of “winging it” and how much better would my work be if I took time to prepare.

Preparation can be by researching a topic on the web, reading a book (like The Big Book of HR!), taking a class or participating in a webinar or other training program. We add to our body of knowledge when we attend a conference or the monthly program of our professional association. How about finding a colleague who is an expert and asking them to be a mentor? What a wonderful way to prepare yourself for what is to come.

Nothing in our world stays the same. Being prepared for what is to come can help you be better at what you do. Consider setting aside some time (and I know we are all too busy) to learn more about a subject you are interested in or to study up on something you know will help you do a better job in whatever field you are in.

Of course the opposite of preparation is be unprepared and that is very frightening. It is so obvious when faced with a hurricane but not so obvious when we get complacent in our jobs. Taking time to prepare can pay off in doing our work a little better or even a lot better—and isn’t that what we all want?

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Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.