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“Winging It” Does Not Require or Include Any Form of Thinking!


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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”. However, no definition of either agility or resilience includes any reference to “winging it”.

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 require or 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. So let’s look at it more closely:

1. Winging it means that you are always working on a never-ending list of tasks without a shred of strategy (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.

2. 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?

3. Winging it means you are more concerned with activity as opposed to results. Your style can be described as “ready, fire, aim”.

4. Winging it never lets you learn from your mistakes. Why? Because you’re always involved in looking for the next activity. You can be described in the following way:“The good news is you’re making great time; the bad news is you’re lost!”

5. Finally, because you never really learn from your mistakes, you never get to expand your learning. If you don’t learn, you cannot get better. And, when you don’t get better, both you and your business will stall and begin a downward path to failure.

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