As you read this, two American National Football League (NFL) teams – The Falcons and Patriots – are making final preparations to put their best foot forward on Sunday at they compete in the 51st Super Bowl Championship in Houston, Texas. In fact, both teams started preparing in earnest the morning after they single-handedly won their Division.
What’s at stake? Bragging rights of “best in the world” and the coveted seven-pound Lombardi Trophy, which is crafted each year entirely of sterling silver by Tiffany & Co. silversmiths in a Rhode Island workshop.
Football coach Vince Lombardi put it well when he said, “The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win.” Most people want to win and enjoy all that comes with it. However, the people willing to put in the hard work over time required to prepare to win are far more rare. High performers have that rare will to prepare. They understand that you can’t achieve sustained, long-term success by preparing to win once. High performers have the will to prepare to win over and over again, and are OK with the fact that it will take time, effort and hard work. Why? Because they know preparation is the key to success.
As a speaker, I can assure you that my best presentations are the ones where I prepared every day for months leading up to the event. Why? Because as I approach the stage, I know my topic (employee engagement), I know my audience (my customers), and I know what’s expected of me (to educate, inspire and entertain). Combined, these things elevate my self-confidence, which further ensures a victory not only for myself but for the entire audience.
As a leader, how often do you prepare to win? Every day, every week, every month, or every year on New Year’s Eve? As a leader, have you reconciled the fact that winning takes time, effort, and hard work? And, if you have, are you willing to do what it takes to be the best, so you can hoist that Lombardi Trophy with your team on a regular basis?
BE AWESOME. Choose to have the will to prepare. I don’t care if it’s for a weekly staff meeting, a customer presentation, or a performance appraisal. If you dedicate time, effort, and hard work to your meetings, projects, presentations, team, relationship, and most importantly, to yourself, you will stand out. You will soar. You will realize greater results in 2017 than you did in 2016. You will WIN. Kind of has a nice ring to it.