Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

It is commonly said that Success is when Preparation meets Opportunity. The famous Basketball coach and Author, John R. Wooden made a strong statement about this when he said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. This can be summarized as, Proper preparation prevents poor performance.I have realized that too many times when life presents an opportunity, what we do with it will depend on the preparation we have had before such times.

This created in me a mindset, that the future can be determined, that each man has the ability to STEER his FUTURE in the direction he wants. Peter F. Drucker, A Professor, Writer and Management Consultant put it this way, “The best way to predict a future is to create it”. Now, isn’t that interesting?

The question I ask every time is; why do people refuse to prepare for what they expect? One of my BBM friends, Omotola, sent me a message on a Monday morning. She wrote, “I am at a final interview section now, at Stanbic IBTC. I am to meet the Branch Manager of the bank after I have been referred to the bank by the recruiting agency that conducted the recruitment exercise.

I am a bit nervous, I must not miss the right response here, because if he is not pleased with me here the agent will have to replace candidate for him, please put me through. PING!!!” Unfortunately, I read this message late, maybe about three hours after she sent it, I did my best to help her by quickly sending her tips on what to expect and how to respond. I can only hope that the help didn’t come too late to be useful.

Sometimes in life we don’t value people that are close to us and could be of great help to us until we find ourselves in a situation demanding for their urgent assistance.

Not everybody will be lucky to still find such people readily available when such moments come. I have been guilty of this myself many times and maybe you have too.

The good news is, It Is better to look ahead and plan than to look back and regret. My “daily favourite” quote for 6th January, 2014 says “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.

I am reminded the unfortunate story of a young man who was advised to take Project Management certification course while still serving in Akure, the capital city of Ondo State in Nigeria, he laughed it off and called his friends doing the course fools. Not long after, he received a mail from one of the companies he had applied to for a job, asking if he has any certification in Project Management & Health, Safety & Environment as those are paramount to the position he applied for.

He quickly put a call through to the institute that offered the training to his friends; his request was to get a certificate that bears his name from the institute in exchange for as much as three times what the training would have cost him just few months ago. Your guess is as good as mine, his request was rebuffed. The Malay Proverb is true after all; prepare the umbrella before it rains.

Anthony Robbins opined, “I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they have achieved.

This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret”.

A new year has just begun, many have made resolutions, many have set goals, yet many will have their chances and blow it up due to lack of preparation. My friend, Akinola Akinwumi once shared with me a profound thought. He said; never go for the microphone until you are sure you have a message.

For many years, I have taught young people preparing for job interviews this simple truth, there is no second chance to make the first impression. I hope that you prepare adequately for the goals you have set for 2023 and I pray you will achieve them.

Where you will STEER your FUTURE to, depends on that.

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