The following comes from a wonderful book titled “Leadership Gold,” written by John Maxwell. It is an amazing story about preparation — about the process. It’s about understanding you can’t fake the harvest. You can't reap your crops in the fall if you haven’t paid the price of managing your farm the year around. Here’s Maxwell’s story:
As a small private jet approached the runway, we were celebrating the success of the week. Then, in a moment, everything changed. The plane was hit by wind shear and dropped straight down to the runway, the wheels hitting out of balance. All conversation stopped and our eyes widened as we realized we were in danger. The pilot, without hesitation, pushed the throttle and launched the plane back into the air. In a split second we went from celebration to sober reflection. We all realized that could have been it! We sat quietly as the plane circled the airfield, and a few minutes later we landed safely.
We all applauded and now began to relax and breathe. As we got off the plane, we thanked the captain for keeping us safe. I said to him, “That was a close call. You responded so quickly to the crisis. When did you make the decision to put the plane back into the air?”
His reply amazed me: “Fifteen years ago.”
He went on to explain how as a young pilot in training, he decided in advance what decision he would make for every possible air problem. “The choice was made long before the crisis,” he said.