The ability to successfully respond to challenges (urgent or otherwise) in today’s business climate requires you to be both agile and resilient. Some of you mistakenly call this “winging it” and use it as your primary approach to business.
All of us, including myself, from time to time need to “think on our feet”. During these times, we usually do not have the luxury of time or all of the needed information to properly develop a plan of action. So, we act based upon what we do know and from what we’ve learned from our past similar experiences. Thinking on your feet is not the same as “winging it” because “winging it” does not include any form of thinking! It’s 100% pure reaction that, for some, serves as a “high”, like an addictive habit and entices them to continue to use this behavior until they fall (or is it fail? No matter, both are bad). “Winging it” is a dangerous habit.
There is no way you can successfully run anything without some form of strategy, planning, self-discipline or goals. It’s only a matter of time before you encounter that one challenge where winging it will run you and your company into the ground.
“Winging it” means that you are always working on a never ending list of tasks without a shred of purpose or planning. It will never result in sustained long-term success. Does the expression “one step forward and two steps back” mean anything to you? It should; it could be your life.
“Winging it” only lasts so long before others see that your approach is shallow. Not only are you wasting your personal credibility assets, but winging it will eventually wear you down and you will have nothing to show for your “make work” efforts. Does the description “building a house of cards” mean anything to you?
“Winging it” means you are more concerned with activity as opposed to results. Your style can be described as “ready, fire, aim”.
And, finally “Winging it” prevents you from learning from your mistakes; because you’re always looking for the next activity and never take the time to think about what you’ve done. You can be described in the following way: “The bad news is you are lost, but the good news is you’re making great time”!
Your customers and employees expect and rely on you to know what you’re doing. If you wing it, it’s just a matter of time before they all move on leaving you to wing it on your own.