Vorbereiten. To prepare. To anticipate a situation; to be enabled to complete a task; to do the work needed beforehand; to develop oneself.
The Germans place great value in being well prepared. They gather information early, complete the initial steps, anticipate what will come. They believe that being prepared saves time and effort, and allows them to make the best decisions.
Der Kluge baut vor – the intelligent one prepares early. Those who are not prepared, who, for example, forget to buy certain things when food shopping, or cannot respond to questions in a meeting, have only themselves to blame. To be well prepared is in Germany not voluntary, not a nice-to-have, it is expected. Germans are under pressure to think things through, to write things down, to do their homework.
The purpose of good preparation is to get the work done faster and better. One needs no more than a shopping list when it is clear what meal will be cooked. To prepare for a meeting is not difficult, provided one knows what will be discussed.
In Germany, most people have a concrete idea of how things should be, of what they plan to eat, of what they will discuss in a meeting. Germans not only make plans, they live according to them.