Preparation is the key for jobs

The late Earl Nightingale, radio commentator, speaker and author defined success as; “When preparedness meets opportunity and opportunity is there all the time.” He went to say that if a person isn’t prepared, opportunity will only make them look foolish.

I have watched a lot of WVU basketball games. When coach Huggins is ever asked about his game plan or preparation for a game I never heard him say, “Didn’t have one. I just thought we would play it by ear.” Coach Huggins knows that the key to success is preparation. That is why his players practice and why he watches film of his opponents and has a game plan for every game.

I’m a runner. My daughter, Dannielle and I have run over 30 half marathons together. She is also my running coach and helps me to put together a training plan for every race. Once the plan is in place it is my responsibility to work the plan. This means running the miles. I recall the first half marathon I ever ran. I started by running three miles. Dannielle worked me up to a 12-mile run two weeks before the race. On race day, four miles into the race we caught up with a couple of young guys about thirty years old. We heard them talking about their training. Neither had run over seven miles in training. We passed them around mile 5 and never saw them again. Preparation is essential for success.

Shale Crescent USA will be heading to Tokyo later this month to speak to the Japanese Petrochemical Association. We were invited by them. This is an awesome opportunity for our Region. We have a lot of preparation to do if we want this trip to be successful. We have to prepare our presentation taking into account that we will be translated. This means that it will take longer to present our material. I use a lot of stories when I present to make points. We need to make sure stories are relatable and translatable. We have meetings with individual companies that need to be set up. We are planning to use the World Petrochemical Conference in Houston as a follow up to our meetings in Japan.

We set up hotel rooms and flights several weeks ago. We had our business cards reprinted in Japanese. I am working on my Japanese. I want to be able to say things like “Please”, “Thank you” and “Good afternoon” in Japanese. I have been watching videos on Japanese language, culture and tradition. The Japanese are very polite people and relationships are important. The process of handing out and receiving business cards is very formal compared to here in the United States. We also want to know about Japanese food. We have a reception to attend and don’t want to be surprised. Preparation is essential if we want to be successful.

What does this mean for you? If you have goals or resolutions for 2018 and want to achieve them, you need to have a plan. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds what are you going to do different than you are doing now? Are you going to diet, exercise or both? If you have business goals what are you going to do to achieve them. Are you going to increase sales? If so, how are you planning to do it? The late Zig Zigler said, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.” This means if we expect a different result we need to do something different.

Would you like a better relationship with your spouse? What are you going to do to change it for the better? The only person we have control over is ourselves. If you want to have a special date night with your spouse even that takes planning. I put a “date night” on my calendar like any other meeting because it is that important. I make sure my wife is good with it so she can plan accordingly. I make restaurant reservations. My wife needs to know where we are going. She wants to dress accordingly. Planning shows her that I care and I’m not taking her for granted.

Successful people make their own luck. They plan so that when opportunity happens, as it always will, they are prepared to take advantage of it. Remember if we do the same thing, the same way and expect different results, we are kidding ourselves. If we expect to achieve our goals in 2018 we need to have a plan and then act on it. Success is a choice we need to prepare for. Have a plan. Thoughts to ponder.


Greg Kozera is the Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA . He has over 40 years of experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and the author of four books and numerous published articles.