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Success on the Fly: Winging It

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 8th, 2013

Chris Waugh

If you believed everything you hear, you’d think winging it was a bad thing, irresponsible. It means that you’re making it up as you go along, it means you haven’t prepared for this, it means you’re a slacker.

Let’s argue that point. When you set out to do something in the future, you try to plan for all the variables and contingencies that may come your way. You detail out each and every move you intend to make. You leave nothing out.

Really? What happens when something happens that you didn’t foresee? When you’re blindsided by what seems obvious now, but didn’t earlier? When you’re caught unaware. You have two choices - give up or wing it. So you wing it, but not very well.

I think those unforeseen circumstances crop up more often than we can control. Assuming you don’t want to give up, learn how to wing it well:

• Be clear about why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you have to change direction, at least your primary reason will stay in tact.

• Don’t confine your planning to what you know or assume. Leave lots of room for surprises.

• Prepare and train for more than you think you’ll need to know or do. It’ll come in handy.

• Keep your eye open for obstacles and opportunities. The sooner you see them, the better.

• Have the courage to change course as the situation warrants.

Being prepared to wing it means you can circumnavigate obstacles, or take advantage of the opportunities that come your way, even if you didn’t see them ahead of time.

Chris Waugh is a business consultant, author and speaker who “lends wings to your success.” Visit ChrisWaugh.com or Facebook.com/chriswaughonthefly for more.

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