“Did you ever observe to whom accidents happen,” said chemist Dr. Louis Pasteur in 1854. It is because “in the fields of observation, fortune favors the prepared mind.” This quote has always inspired me. Pasteur’s contributions to science, technology and medicine are astounding. Of course he is most famous for developing the pasteurization of wine and milk, discovering the rabies vaccination, and leading the medical community to accept that germs existed.
While I am a business leader – not a pioneering scientist – I practice Dr. Pasteur’s words on a daily basis. In today’s competitive marketplace, preparation is a distinguishing trait. How often have you seen individuals prepping for a customer meeting going up the elevator? Others may be seen racing through a financial analysis or glossing over market research data 15 minutes before an important meeting. This is called winging it. Chance might bring success on occasion, but flying by the seat of your pants is not a sustaining strategy.
Being prepared is evidence of a committed professional. For me, it not only brings confidence, but also demonstrates my integrity. Preparation speaks volumes of a respect for the individual and/or the organization. But, most importantly, it demonstrates that how you do anything, is how you do everything. Without “a prepared mind,” insights may be missed and opportunities for breakout innovation overlooked. Achievements just don’t happen. They are a direct result of taking the time and putting forth the effort.