The Discipline of Self-Preparedness


[vimeo id="130363556"] I love under-dog stories, and this year there was probably no greater story than Ohio State winning the College Football Championship. When Ohio State’s lead quarterback was injured in the preseason. Everyone thought their season was over. When their second-string quarterback was injured in their penultimate game of the season, everyone knew they’d never make the playoffs. So when Cardale Jones, the third-string quarterback, held up the College Football trophy after beating Oregon in the championship, everyone was shocked.

Why was that possible? Because Jones was a leader who practiced self-preparedness. In my newest book, 9 Disciplines of Enduring Leadership, I share about the importance of preparing for an opportunity before it arrives. Here are a few things from my book that we can do to practice self-preparedness.

First, ask yourself why leaders stop growing? If you study leaders who have sustained success over a long period of time, there a couple of attitudes they all rejected. They never thought they had “arrived” or reached the pinnacle of success. They never relied on past strategies, and they never used their organization to serve themselves.

Why did they reject these attitudes? Because these attitudes reject opportunity. If you think you’ve “arrived,” you’ll never look for greater things beyond yourself.

Secondly, leverage your success to keep moving forward. The best time to plan your next big thing isn’t when the current thing expires but in the midst of your most successful times. The time to cast vision is when you have the resources and the support to make it happen. If you wait till your organization is on its last legs before you do something different, you’ll find your options are limited.

Lastly, no matter where you are in life or in an organization, be excellent at what you do. Let’s go back to Cardale Jones for a moment. What if he had decided to just slack off in practice? What if he had settled for doing ‘OK’ instead of running play after play in practice to get better? Well, the answer is he wouldn’t have been prepared to lead his team down the field time and time again in the College Football Championship.

If you wait to see an opportunity before you prepare for it, the opportunity will pass before you’re ready. Be excellent where you are now so that you can seize the opportunity when it comes.

Hey thanks for checking out my blog! If you’re interested in reading more about self-preparedness and the other eight disciplines, follow this link to my new book. Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments below. Thanks again and have a great day!