30 Planning and Preparation Quotes For Success

As a team leader, CEO, startup founder, or project manager, you know that planning is one of the critical skills you need to possess to achieve the team's goals, the business vision, the projected KPIs, or the established milestones.

Planning is, nevertheless, the first step. With proper planning, you anticipate challenges and minimize risks. Simply planning helps envision a particular situation and aspects that previously didn't exist and clarify the actions needed to achieve the expected result.

Planning can be short or long-term. With a team, you might have quarterly goals; however, as a CEO, you must have a long-term vision. We encourage business leaders to have a bold vision for where they want to take the company in 5-10 years, not just the next quarter. This is why planning connects with the company vision.

Although things have been carefully planned, we recommend you be flexible and willing to adjust. Bill Gates once said, "Life is not always predictable, so you must be ready to adapt." No plan survives first contact with reality unchanged. Build flexibility and adaptation into your planning.

Before jumping into planning, careful planning means deciding what NOT to do and focusing on critical priorities. Don't try to do too many things at once. By focusing on meaningful projects, you achieve the right things, not all the non-important ones.

Always think backward. Buffet, Jobs, and many successful people recommended reflecting on what needs to happen to transform the significant aim into reality. Thinking backward also means planning; you might call it strategic planning, others project planning.

We hope we made you excited with some critical thoughts about planning. Now, here are 30 famous quotes on planning and preparations:

"Failing to plan is planning to fail." - Alan Lakein

Alan Lakein, a renowned author and time management expert, emphasizes the importance of planning in achieving success. This quote suggests that without proper planning and preparation, it is likely that one will fail to accomplish their goals. Lakein's work focuses on effective time management and personal productivity.

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, recognized the significance of adequate preparation. This quote highlights the value of investing time in planning and preparation before undertaking a task. Lincoln believed that thorough preparation increases the chances of success.

"Plans are nothing; planning is everything." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former President of the United States and a five-star general, understood the dynamic nature of plans. This quote suggests that while plans may change or deviate from the original intention, the planning process itself is invaluable. Eisenhower believed that through planning, one develops the ability to adapt and respond effectively to changing circumstances.

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a French writer and aviator, emphasizes the importance of translating aspirations into concrete plans. This quote suggests that merely desiring something is insufficient without a well-defined action plan. Saint-Exupéry believed that planning bridges the gap between dreams and reality.

"In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower's quote reflects his experience as a military leader. He recognized that plans may undergo unexpected changes and may not unfold as anticipated. However, planning helps develop a strategic mindset, consider various contingencies, and make informed decisions in dynamic situations. Eisenhower emphasized the value of planning as a mental exercise rather than relying solely on rigid plans.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, a polymath and Founding Father of the United States recognized the importance of preparation in achieving success. This quote emphasizes that without proper planning and readiness, one increases the likelihood of failure. Franklin's quote highlights the need to invest time and effort in preparation to improve the chances of success.

"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." - Alan Lakein

Alan Lakein, a renowned time management expert and author, describes planning as bridging the gap between the future and the present. This quote suggests that through planning, we can anticipate future challenges and take action in the present to address them effectively. Lakein's work focuses on practical strategies to enhance productivity and achieve personal and professional goals.

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." - Robert Burns

Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote this line in his famous poem "To a Mouse." The quote means that even the most well-thought-out plans may not unfold as expected due to unforeseen circumstances or external factors. Burns' quote reflects the unpredictability of life and serves as a reminder to be flexible and adaptable in the face of unexpected events.

"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - George S. Patton

George S. Patton, a highly regarded military leader during World War II, emphasized the importance of decisive action. This quote suggests that taking immediate action based on a solid plan, even if it is not flawless, is better than waiting for a perfect plan indefinitely. Patton believed in bold and swift execution to achieve desired outcomes.

"Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small." - Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military strategist and philosopher, stressed the significance of strategic planning. This quote advises preparing for challenging situations in advance when circumstances are more favorable. It also suggests tackling significant tasks or goals when they are still manageable. Sun Tzu's teachings in "The Art of War" emphasize the importance of foresight and timing in achieving success.

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." - John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, used this quote to emphasize the importance of proactive planning. It suggests addressing problems or making necessary improvements should be done in favorable conditions rather than waiting for crises. Kennedy advocated for proactive decision-making and taking advantage of opportunities before they become emergencies.

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt, a prominent American diplomat and activist, highlighted the futility of mere wishing without concrete planning. This quote suggests that investing energy into planning and taking action is far more productive than simply hoping for desired outcomes. Roosevelt's quote encourages proactive and purposeful engagement to bring about positive change.

"If you don't have a plan, you become part of somebody else's plan." - Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna, an ethnobotanist and philosopher, emphasized the importance of having a personal plan and vision. This quote implies that with a clear direction, individuals may become active participants in the plans and agendas of others. McKenna encouraged individuals to define their own goals and take control of their lives through planning and decision-making.

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." - Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll, an English writer and mathematician, wrote this line in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The quote suggests that without a clear destination or plan, any path or choice will suffice. Carroll's quote reminds us of the importance of setting goals and having a sense of direction to make purposeful decisions and progress in life.

"Planning is an unnatural process; doing something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression." - Sir John Harvey-Jones

Sir John Harvey-Jones, a British businessman and television personality, offers a somewhat tongue-in-cheek perspective on planning. This quote implies that planning may seem tedious or contrary to spontaneity, but it is necessary for achieving success. Harvey-Jones humorously highlights that not planning can lead to unexpected failures without the opportunity for anticipation or preparation.

"A plan is what, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done." - Peter Turla

Peter Turla, an author and expert in project management, emphasizes the importance of combining planning and scheduling for effective execution. This quote suggests that a plan outlines the strategy and objectives, while a schedule defines the specific timeline and actions required to accomplish those goals. Turla's work focuses on practical project management techniques and methodologies.

"Always plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark." - Richard Cushing

Richard Cushing, an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, uses a metaphor to highlight the value of foresight and preparation. The quote suggests that planning ahead is essential, as preparing in advance can help mitigate potential challenges or crises. Cushing's quote emphasizes the benefits of proactive planning and readiness.

"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." - Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell, a scientist and inventor known for inventing the telephone, recognized the significance of preparation in achieving success. This quote implies that thorough preparation lays the foundation for achieving desired outcomes. Bell believed that careful planning and preparation enhance one's chances of success in any endeavor.

"Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan." - Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, emphasizes the importance of diligently planning and executing the plan. This quote suggests that daily planning ensures focused and purposeful work. Thatcher's quote reflects her disciplined and systematic approach to leadership and decision-making.

"Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning." - Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison, a prolific inventor and businessman, recognized the role of planning in creating opportunities for success. This quote suggests that combining planning and seizing opportunities can increase the likelihood of achieving favorable outcomes. Edison's quote reflects his belief in the importance of preparation and proactive engagement.

"A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power." - Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker and author, emphasizes the empowering effect of having a clear vision and well-defined plans. This quote suggests that having a clear direction and concrete plans instills confidence and a sense of personal empowerment. Tracy's work focuses on personal and professional development and the importance of goal setting and planning.

"It's not the plan that's important, it's the planning." - Dr. Gramme Edwards

Dr. Gramme Edwards, a management expert, highlights the planning process as more significant than the final plan itself. This quote suggests that the act of planning helps individuals develop a strategic mindset and consider various options and contingencies. Edwards emphasizes the value of planning as a mental exercise and a means to improve decision-making.

"Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us." - Richard I. Winwood

Richard I. Winwood, a management consultant, underscores the importance of personal agency in the planning process. This quote suggests that planning allows individuals to make intentional choices and take control of their own lives. Winwood's quote emphasizes the value of planning as a means of self-determination and avoiding undue influence from external parties.

"Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal." - Cornelius Fitchner

Cornelius Fitchner, a project management trainer and podcaster, highlights the importance of both planning and action in achieving success. This quote suggests that more than planning is required with action; likewise, taking action with proper planning can lead to adverse consequences. Fitchner's quote emphasizes the need for a balanced approach between planning and execution.

"An idea without a plan is just a dream. A plan without action is a nightmare." - Japanese proverb

This Japanese proverb conveys the importance of combining ideas, plans, and actions. It suggests that without a plan, ideas remain unrealized dreams. However, even with a well-crafted plan, without taking action, it becomes a source of frustration. The proverb emphasizes aligning ideas, plans, and actions to achieve desired results.

"You can't plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind." - Gordon B. Hinckley

Gordon B. Hinckley, a religious leader and former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, uses a metaphor to emphasize the importance of taking action rather than merely thinking or planning. This quote suggests that more than thoughts and plans are required to implement them. Hinckley's quote encourages individuals to engage actively in the work required to achieve their goals.

"He who plans early avoids haste." - Chinese proverb

This Chinese proverb emphasizes the value of early planning to prevent hurried or rushed actions. The quote suggests that by planning ahead and preparing in advance, individuals can avoid making impulsive decisions or facing unnecessary pressure. The proverb reflects the Chinese cultural emphasis on foresight, patience, and a deliberate approach to achieving success.

"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." - Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker and author, highlights the importance of setting clear goals and objectives. This quote suggests that without a specific target or direction, one will likely achieve nothing. Ziglar's quote emphasizes the significance of having a clear focus and purpose to make progress and achieve desired outcomes.

"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." - George S. Patton

George S. Patton, a highly regarded military leader during World War II, emphasizes the value of taking action based on a solid plan rather than waiting for perfection. This quote suggests that prompt and decisive action based on a reasonable plan is more valuable than endless planning without execution. Patton's quote emphasizes agility, adaptability, and timely decision-making.

"An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing." - Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie, a renowned writer and lecturer on self-improvement and interpersonal skills, highlights the time-saving benefits of planning. This quote suggests that investing time in planning and organization can result in greater efficiency and effectiveness in completing tasks. Carnegie's quote underscores the importance of thoughtful preparation to optimize productivity and achieve desired outcomes.