I was watching TV the other day and heard a quote that I just cannot get out of my mind. An office manager was critiquing his employees on a report they had just presented. He was not happy with the quality of their work and he said to them:
"I am not talented enough to be unprepared, are you?"
Wow. Talk about making an impression. I keep asking myself this over and over and I keep giving myself the same answer. No, I am not talented enough to be unprepared. So, as I have considered this question, it has renewed my desire to be prepared. There really is no substitute for being prepared.
Think about an NFL player. Here is a man who obviously has talent. He has reached the pinnacle of competition in his sport. But what does he do each week? He spends that entire week preparing for one event. He will play a 60 minute game and will probably be on the field for less than half of that time. In fact, if you consider the time spent standing around while the clock is running getting ready to play, then he really only plays about 15-20 minutes. So here is an elite athlete who is loaded with the talent to play football, even he spends an entire week preparing for 15-20 minutes of work.
So who do you think you are to go into a meeting unprepared?
Preparation give you the confidence in a situation to be disciplined and methodical. Talent in a situation gives you the confidence to, well, be confident. What a deadly combination you have when you are confident, disciplined and methodical.