My Aunt's Driving Lessons
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"But it's raining!"
"Exactly. What happens if it rains when you take your test? Let's go drive."
My Aunt Dot didn't learn to drive until she was in her fifties. Instead of driving school, she took instruction from her husband, Johnny, the cop. He knew what she needed to know.
Before he let Aunt Dot take her test, Johnny made sure she learned how to drive in all kinds of situations. She drove in city traffic and on the parkways and out in the suburbs. She drove in the rain. Johnny wouldn't let her take her test until she'd driven in snow. He even had her practice skidding.
Aunt Dot didn't like it at the time and she was a woman who spoke her mind.
"Why can't I just learn like everybody else, get my license, and drive?"
"Because then you'll drive like everybody else. I've seen too many accidents where people got in trouble because they didn't know what they were doing. You'll know."
She did. As it happened, the day of her driving test dawned clear and bright. She aced the written and the road test. She could have done that on a clear day without all the preparation. But by the time she got her license, my Aunt was already "experienced." She drove safely in all kinds of weather and over all kinds of roads for the rest of her life without a problem.
Boss's Bottom Line
Preparation is the secret sauce that makes great bosses and great teams great. Every top performing boss I studied was a preparation nut.
This post was inspired by Scott Eblin's excellent post, "What Leaders Can Learn from Michael Phelps About Preparation." Thanks, Scott.
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