You are not born with this skill but you can acquire it.
If Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, is on target, it will take you 10,000 hours to learn it. Then again, you should not jump to believe everything you read or hear and label it natural truth. Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, thinks you can go from knowing a skill to performing it well in just 20 hours.
No more teasers. What is this skill? Anticipation. Really, I am not kidding. Do not dismiss it simply because it is seemingly ‘soft’ and intangible. Let us think this one through.
Let me start by stating that Carly Simon, in her hit song, muddles common sense about this expertise by singing
Anticipation, Anticipation… Is making me late… Is keeping me waiting
In addition, she crooned a sense of ineffectiveness with the lyrics,
We can never know about the days to come…
Whereas ‘intuition’ is a product of unconscious thought (some same reasoning), ‘anticipation’ stems from a conscious body of knowledge and information. Intuitive folks struggle to explain why they acted in a certain way. Folks gifted with anticipation are taking advantage of statistical information, market analyses, historical trends, strategic initiatives, analogous studies, and the like. Whether for self or corporation, anticipation is the product of a structured SWOT matrix.
If you want to be effective, if you want your business to be successful, you must learn to skate like Wayne Gretzky. Figuratively, of course.
Walter (dad) told his son (Wayne), who lacked brawn, to skate to where the puck is headed, not where it’s been; essentially, to anticipate. ‘The Great One’ was able to do this because he had detailed knowledge of the game and depth of information about each player’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
An A-level person, acts, reacts, and progresses well. An AA-level person acts, reacts, adapts, and advances further. An AAA-level person is an anticipator. Based on experience in acting, reacting, and adapting, the proactive individual succeeds in a world fret with blind spots, bursting bubbles, and tumultuous change.