You Can Plan and Prepare but You Can Not Control

Preparation and planning are wonderful things.  They make us feel in control, in charge, confident and sometimes invincible. 

Then your dogs pee in the middle of your ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  More on this later.

Keys to successful interviews, client presentations, performance reviews or speaking engagement hinges on preparation, this I do not argue.

What happens when it does not go exactly as planned or anticipated? 

That, my friends, will set you apart. 

Those are the golden opportunities, not horrific destruction of careers!

It is in those moments that you can truly shine. 

I believe that when glitches happen, it is life giving you an opportunity to show what you are really made of, why you are the person for the job.

Technical glitch during a client presentation or a speaking engagement?  No problem, you know the material, you are passionate about what you do!  See this is the opportunity to genuinely show your expertise and commitment by landing the plane without the aid of technology!

In an interview and you say the wrong thing or go down a rabbit hole?  Grab this opportunity to show grace under pressure and humor in guiding the conversation back to the original point and establishing yourself as a cool-as-a-cucumber prospect with quick wits able to turn a potentially bad situation right back around to point.

Those moments happen in the everyday world of business, not just the major milestones.  Can you be prepared for these unexpected flubs?  Not really, but you can recognize that they happen and allow yourself some slack in just going with it the best you can.

Odds are, when you are relaxed and let your natural expertise guide you, you will end up looking better than had everything gone exactly as planned.

I took a two-month hiatus from speaking and workshops to focus on a new coaching program.  Not being in front of crowds for a while, I let my guard down about life’s flubs. 

Lucky for me, I have dogs to remind me that these little opportunities are always present. 

This past weekend I accepted my son’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and we planned it out.  He came by to video it for me, I prepared two checks (one for ALS and one for American Cancer Society), we picked a spot in the backyard and planned the shooting before the rain came. 

The video, it seemed, went off without a hitch.  Mission accomplished.

My son wanted to see my reaction, so we watched the video.  What we saw instead were two of my dogs peeing all over the place and the third one trying to get the ice out of the bucket. 

There was no way I was going to allow my son so much pleasure in dumping another bucket over my head, so we just posted it as is. 

What followed was several private messages and some on Facebook all praising the pups for absolutely stealing the show.

Apparently, they knew what they were doing. Watch the video by clicking here:

ALS Challenge upstaged by dogs

I did not shine or be brilliant, I got upstaged by peeing dogs.  But because of this, the video was seen and shared more than it probably would have been without them.  I am hoping this translates to not only additional support for ALS, but also the American Cancer Society (near and dear to my heart).

Thank you puppies for the reminder of life’s unexpected flubs and giving me a good laugh.


Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer


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