Lessons during Breaches of Greatness

angry business man wearing helmet holding laptop and tablet
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A Disaster Waiting to Happen

I was recently a co-presenter in a webinar for my company.  I was well-prepared, had updated and edited the presentation, had worked closely with my co-presenter, had done a couple dry-run to seal my preparation. I was confident and ready.  I logged into  Go-To Webinar 20 minutes early, waited for the administrator to log-in while I reviewed my notes once again.

I was prepared.

I was ready.

I knew my stuff…,   It was destined to be great.

That is until all hell broke loose.  I was unable to access my notes as I had planned.  My co-presenter was unable to log-in early.  And when we finally were ready to go, there was an insipid echo that followed me throughout the course of the webinar. I was as flustered, disgruntled, and blind-sighted as I have ever been.  I had been ready – I had prepared.  I had raised my own expectations and in doing so removed any doubt as to whether or not this would be the best webinar ever.

Never Ready Enough

I guess it proves that you can never be ready enough and that we must be prepared for anything.  Given that my partner and I had prepared, it was a smooth hand-off to her.  She was able to pick up my slack, as the echo became distracting and I had to keep myself muted. I was distraught, I was unused to chaos in this type of situation. I am more used to morning chaos as I tackled breakfast and school lunches for four kids – that is good chaos – chaos I can handle.  Tech not cooperating is NOT good chaos.

What Did I learn?

Moments like this are opportunities to learn.  Learn that I don’t know everything. Learn how to let go of perfect. Learn to rely on a partner. Learn that I had not yet discovered the better way. And learn that sometimes the tech gods just laugh uncontrollably at us and our misfortune.

And I learned to be less cocky in my prep. Repetition may be a great teacher, but it doesn’t mean that nothing will ever go wrong.  My proof was in the over-cooked pudding of a webianr gone rogue. Someone once told me that you can never be too prepared – I think it was my mom, Cubmaster, mother of 6, foster parent, camper extraordinaire, softball coach, play director, costume designer, activities director, and creator of the mythical but very real “Grandma Camp”.


Greatness comes when our ideal is challenged by extremes.  How will you handle today’s extreme? Will you learn or complain? Will you embrace or shun? Will you drive on or fall back? Will you beat forward against the waves or let them smash you on the shore?

Today’s extreme is tomorrow’s past.  Tough it out. Survive it. Live to tell the story – there are those who need to hear it.

“There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations.” – Mike White

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