Preparation is Key: 21 Quotes to Inspire Your Planning Process

By Jessica Wishart

strategic planning

dateThu, Oct 29, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Over the last few months, my husband and I have been re-watching AMC’s Mad Men, a show we strategic planningstarted a long time ago and never finished in the flood of other enticing streaming content and demands of life with two small kids. While there is plenty of workplace behavior on this show that I by no means endorse, every once in a while, Don Draper drops in with a quote that makes me think. For example, in one episode, he says to his apprentice, Peggy, who’s struggling to come up with an idea for a client, “Just think about it deeply. Then forget it. And an idea will…jump up in your face.”

It got me thinking about how critical it is to prepare well for strategic planning, especially as most of our clients are in the midst of Q4 and Annual Planning. You can’t just show up in the meeting and hope inspiration will strike, and you’ll create the perfect strategy for navigating this challenging environment filled with uncertainty. You need to put the time in to really think, prepare well and clear your head in advance. Maybe then, with the right preparation and when you least expect it, inspiration will strike.

If you need some help getting inspired, here are some of my favorite quotes to motivate you and the team to engage fully in the planning process this year:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Unknown, but commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln
“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.” — Idowu Koyenikan
“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“Unfortunately, there seems to be far more opportunity out there than ability...We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” — Thomas A. Edison
“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” — Robert Schuller
“No matter how prepared you are, you're never ready.” — Jacqueline Lapidus
“Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance, as they say in the army - and I always, always want to be ready. Just like Bigfoot.” ― Anthony Bourdain
“If you're proactive, you focus on preparing. If you're reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.”
John C. Maxwell
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
J.R.R. Tolkien
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin
“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” ― Yogi Berra
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” ― Winston Churchill
“You can talk all you want about having a clear purpose and strategy for your life, but ultimately this means nothing if you are not investing the resources you have in a way that is consistent with your strategy. In the end, a strategy is nothing but good intentions unless it's effectively implemented.” ― Clayton M. Christensen
“A bad plan is better than no plan, and the most important quality of any plan is the flexibility to change.” ― Judson L Moore
“The best alternative to hope is to set up multiple backup plans.” ― Anas Hamshari
“When things don't go according to plan, plan according to how things go.” ― Kayambila Mpulamasaka
“The person with a plan, a picture, will go after thoughts that add value to their thinking. It's easy to connect the dots if you know where you're going. Likewise, it's easy to connect ideas when you have a plan.” ― John C. Maxwell
“One of the biggest obstacles to obtaining goals is not making a plan. If you really want to achieve something, write down a plan of attack right now.”
“Planning and perseverance will bring your mission to fruition.” ― Rob Liano

(Source: Quotes curated from this list)

If you’re inspired but not sure where to begin, reach out to us; one of our expert facilitators can guide you through a planning process that includes solid preparation and follow-through. Good luck planning and preparing well, whatever the future holds!


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Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Jessica Wishart


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images