“When the opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” Coach John Wooden
This “truth” has two edges.
The first edge is to reinforce the importance of careful, intentional preparation. It is a reminder of the wisdom of building good habits, continually seeking knowledge and constantly adding skills. The process of continual personal improvement puts you in a spot to raise your hand when a challenge comes. It allows you to have the confidence to step up. The wisdom of continual improvement is that if you commit to the process, opportunities have a way of finding you.
The opposite second edge is to remind you that it is hard to plan for every situation that life brings your way. My most recent example is Hurricane Irma. The storm was unprecedented. There was no way to prepare for it. But, it presented opportunities nonetheless.
When the unexpected happens, the best solution is to have a team that is committed to each other and equipped to adapt. You have to have a group of people thinking on their feet, suggesting alternatives, trying new things and adjusting. Certainly, there is preparation in building such a team. When the unexpected happens, I want to be surrounded with people who are undaunted by change and willing to take a hack at it.
Build yourself. Build your team. The best preparation for the predictable and the unexpected. Works in all seasons.