Prepare to Honor, Serve, and Impact

At the Faith At Work Summit, Deb Knupp of GrowthPlay made a statement I want to remember. She said,

“Preparation is the ultimate sign of honor.”

She went on to talk about how everything we do to prepare, how we gather knowledge and then deliver that knowledge through our work, is an act of service. She recommends an act of service mindset when coaching her clients.

Leadership is an act of service. We serve others when we communicate their importance to us, and to our team. Character-based leadership means we serve others from who we are. We don’t put on an act. We are what we represent.

When we thoughtfully prepare for a meeting or a conversation or anything else we do, we tell the people around us that what we’re doing, and what they’re doing, is important to us. We make our leadership an act of service to the people around us, even if we’re not in a position of leadership.

Put yourself in the position of the people you will work with today. What do they want? What are they trying to accomplish? What are their goals, values, hopes? What is important to them. The more you prepare for each meeting, each interaction, even each email, the better you serve the people who contribute to your goals and objectives. You create the energy and the resources to produce the results you desire.

"Be Prepared" isn’t just a motto for the Boy Scouts, either. When we prepare, we deliver our best. In a free market, over time, the better the quality of your work, the better your prospects for a quality life. Invest in others and see the return.

Years ago, I had a friend tell me that after a particularly difficult job, they would run by the house and shower before returning to work. They didn’t want anything thinking their work was difficult. When we take the extra time to prepare, we tell others we’re willing to pay the price to succeed. We want the team to succeed and we’re willing to make the necessary investment.

And I would add, once you’ve prepared, prepare even more. Once you know what you want to say and what you want to accomplish, take the extra time to boil it down to its essence. In the book, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, the authors instruct us to ask,

“What one thing makes everything else either easier or unnecessary?”

To borrow that idea, what one thing does your listener, prospect, or boss most want to know? What is the one thing you can do to make them more successful?

By bringing their perspective to your work, you will honor others, save them effort, and communicate their importance to you. So, what do you need to prepare for right now?