The 50th Super Bowl is in the books, and like a good Hollywood script, the winning quarterback will eventually be a hall-of-famer. Peyton Manning has never been the fastest quarterback, or had a fantastic arm. But he did what all successful people do in every field. Peyton Manning prepared mentally for every game. He is known for watching and re-watching game film so that he would be ready for anything that could come at him on a Sunday afternoon. With his well-prepared mind, he helped lead the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl title.
General George Washington, another great leader, once said, “If we are wise, let us prepare for the worst”. It is not enough just to be prepared, but rather, to be at your best, you also must be prepared for bad events.
In any business endeavor, events rarely go as planned. Spontaneous and difficult questions can arise during key meetings. Your boss may change the deadline for the proposal from one week to two days. Your plane is late so you miss your important meeting, and so on.
Unfortunately, most people follow a Pollyannaish approach: They believe only good events will happen to them, so they are ill-prepared when events go bad. And when bad events do happen, they freeze up or simply recoil from the adversity, which becomes their downfall.
Failure is having an ineffective response to a difficult situation. Success, on the other hand, will come when you have a positive effective response to your adversity. The following will help you to prepare for the best but plan for the worst:
1. Develop an adversity plan. First write down a list of five problems that could happen during your next meeting. Next, create a corresponding list of positive responses to the adversity. When you have an appropriate corresponding response, you can turn any bad situation into your advantage.
2. Imagine the adversity plan. Do more than just create the list, you should spend a few minutes before the meeting imagining each adversity with your corresponding positive response.
3. Create multiple positive responses. Sometimes, you will have similar adverse situations at the same meeting. To be most effective, you need a few positive responses for the same adverse situation so it looks like you are not just repeating yourself.
Pat Riley, the championship-winning NBA coach once said, “Know this: You will experience one of those defining moments. Prepare for that moment and know that it’s coming, and you increase your chances for winning your way through it.”
It is never the event that defines you, but rather your response will determine whether or not you can overcome it and grow from it.
Bio: Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at APSU and inspirational and motivational speaker who lives in Nashville TN. He is the author of the Washington Post bestselling business book, “Full Throttle.” Steinberg speaks about emotional toughness to Fortune 500 companies. Visit www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his TED talk about super-resilience at http://tinyurl.com/o2anxsz