Have you ever seen the chaos of a large meeting in a corporate boardroom? It’s the guy who goes in with the agenda, the notes, and the pre-meeting-prep who typically ends up leading the direction of the room.
He (or she) doesn’t have to fight much for the attention of the room. The unprepared can flounder for a bit but ultimately look to the prepared person. The prepared person can articulate what they want, what they know, and what they don’t know in a minute – while the same task takes the unprepared man several wandering minutes. This makes a big difference.
In fact, I would guess that when it comes to a group of people trying to do something, the person who is most prepared generally tends to emerge as the leader.
Sure, bravado and status signaling can work for a little while. But lack of preparation shows just as much as expertise does show, and clear purpose and knowledge and competence just wins.