Are You Thinking on Your Feet?

By Jeremy Blake on October 1, 2018

Planning. Making a Plan. Fail to Plan and You Plan to Fail. We have all heard about the importance of planning and many of you will love a plan and almost certainly love a list. You make a plan and you execute it, right? What about when the unexpected comes back at you? Many of us relish watching our favourite sport as we see our heroes and heroines thinking on their feet. What does that mean? It means that you aren’t sitting down for one thing, and therefore you are having to change direction and respond differently with your hands, your feet and the ball. The ball of course can be a metaphor as some sportspeople have to react to a change in the wind, the track, the elements or opposition coming towards you from a new direction.


I was reading about sports people with ADHD. It is estimated that eight to ten percent of sportspeople have ADHD compared to adults as a whole, that’s just four to five percent. Two famous ones are Justin Gatlin and Michael Phelps and if you go a little further back you have my favourite athlete Carl Lewis. As far as women, who suffer less from ADHD two tennis players are allegedly ADHD sufferers Serena Williams and the recently retired Nicole Vaidisova.


“As Serena plans her perfect passing shot, she is met with a stop volley and has to react quickly, her next shot at close range is a wide angled drop shot, she wins the point.”
Some people in your organisation have a huge ability to adapt and react quickly to change, others find change a huge challenge.


If you are only surrounded by plan followers what are you going to do?!


Don’t you find yourself also having to change your choice of shot quite often?
Isn’t it the same in your workplace, your office, or when you are having a conversation with a colleague, a team member, your boss or someone you manage?


Don’t customers always reserve the right to not follow your process?


Often the plan which we are all set to execute needs changing because it’s not working, and we don’t have time to draft a plan.
Who steps forward, in your organisation and do you listen enough?


How can you prepare for Thinking on Your Feet? Ask yourself difficult questions and answer aloud as you are driving, walking the dog or in the shower.


Here’s 7 questions to enable you to become someone who can think on their feet.


  1. What’s not working in the business right now?
  2. What’s the newest most innovative thing that people are doing?
  3. How are your managers inspiring their people?
  4. Tell me a story about how you won your best client – make it brief, engaging and memorable.
  5. What made you not retain a client that you really valued?
  6. What are you doing to develop yourself currently?
  7. What could be the most difficult question for me to ask you to answer off the cuff with no preparation right now? Ask it of yourself and answer it.