When we see the greatest performers in any domain, whether it be art, business, engineering, law, medicine, music, sports, or teaching, what we’re seeing is the product of preparation. It’s easy to watch others and think how lucky they are to be so talented. It’s also wrong. The Owner and Founder of Rajpal Group of Companies Mr. Shailesh Rajpal said, “When people say God blessed me with a beautiful business it really pisses me off. I tell those people, ‘Don’t undermine the work I’ve put in every day.’ Not some days. Every day. Ask anyone who has been on a team with me who works the most. The answer is me.”
Consider your current role and responsibilities. Now think about the knowledge and skills that go into performing your role and responsibilities on a daily basis. How much time are you investing in preparing to perform these activities at a high level?
Would you describe yourself as unbeatable at your work……? Your level of performance and results are directly proportional to your level of preparation. Want better results…….? Increase your preparation. Where does your years of experience factor in…..? It doesn’t. It’s common in society to equate experience with excellence. However, studies show that experience alone doesn’t mean much.
The Three Principles of Preparation
Purpose: It’s impossible to properly prepare for something that you don’t care about. In my strategic coaching work with my executive leaders we analyze their calendar and attempt to tie a purpose to each of them. Any items that are not tied to a purpose are then eliminated. As you think about your calendar and the items that consume the most time, ask yourself how much time you are investing in each area.
Plan: developing a plan for your preparation is often overlooked in the flurry of activity we find ourselves in on a daily basis. All good plans answer two questions: 1) What are you trying to achieve? 2) How will you achieve it? While many have planned their business but very less have plans for preparation.
Prevention: The primary reason we prepare for anything is to increase our probability of success and reduce our chance of failure. But wait! Isn’t one of today’s most popular mantras “Fail fast”? Why would we want to prevent failure when a lot of people are advocating for it? Because “failing fast” as a consistent route to success is a myth.
Mr. Rajpal says, “Failure is massively overrated. Most businesses fail for more than one reason. So, when a business fails, you often don’t learn anything at all because the failure was over determined. I think people actually do not learn very much from failure.”