Vin Scully, the legendary voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was recently awarded the Medal of Freedom. This is the highest honor bestowed on an American citizen. His eyes glazed in tears by the enormity of the moment, he shared a stage with President Obama, Michael Jordon, Bill Gates, and Diana Ross, among 21 honorees.

After the ceremony, Scully was interviewed by John Dickerson on Face the Nation. Dickerson asked, “What is the trick to calling a game, or what is the- if you had to teach me how to do it, what would you do?”

Scully replied, “I would quote Laurence Olivier, because I have lived by his quote. Apparently, some actor asked him about his success. And he said, ‘My success comes from a humility to prepare and a confidence to bring it off.’”

His comment hit me with the weight of a two-by-four. Scully was stressing that his success happened because he took the time to prepare for every game- because his 66 years calling Dodger games did not provide him enough experience and insight to show up and wing it. We could all learn a thing or two from Laurence Olivier, and from Vin Scully.

A lack of preparation is pervasive in our business culture. Some people don’t seem to think very intently about fulfilling their commitments, like coming prepared to a conference call or showing up to a meeting with an agenda.

I am in the business of strategic planning. While no good data exists that supports this statement, my guess is less than a third of companies with over $20 million in revenue conduct formal strategic planning processes on an annual basis. Probably less than half of them employ an outside facilitator.

I have heard every conceivable rationalization on why this is true: “The minute you write a plan it becomes obsolete,” or, “We don’t execute on things we will say we will do.”

I don’t buy it. Companies who are good at strategic planning update their plans regularly to keep them fresh and relevant. They act on commitments they have made, holding their teams accountable.

I think the real reason so many companies don’t take the time to plan is that they are either too lazy, or believe their employees and managers do not offer anything they don’t already know. These are the same entrepreneurs who don’t see value in gaining buy-in from their management or employees.

Let’s face it- many such entrepreneurs are very successful. Some of their companies will even achieve extraordinary results. But this also contributes to the fact that only about a third of U.S. companies make it to a second generation. Too many business owners do not have the humility to prepare through strategic planning, succession planning and the like.

This brings us to the second part of the Olivier quote. Management teams have the “confidence” to succeed when they know why certain decisions are made, and who is going to do what in what order. Preparation breeds confidence and good decision making.

It is when such preparation meets opportunity that companies propel themselves to greatness.