Visualize then Act with Consistent Preparation and Practice

Prior to the last two blog posts which focused on the June and August Conference lessons learned, I wrote about what I learned in the book Mind Gym by Gary Mack.  I described how I learned the value of setting goals and visualizing both the process and event of reaching those goals.  I have added visualization exercises to my morning physical exercises routine.  “Thinking” and visualizing is not enough, one  – must also “act.”  Mack writes, “Consistency separates good athletes from great ones.  The best athletes win consistently because they think, act and practice consistently.”

 Setting a goal or developing a dream is the first step, visualizing reaching the goal or fulfilling the dream is the second step, and the third step is to take action by preparing and practicing consistently.  The actions for preparing and practicing consistently in a professional career are readily available every day even though they may not be apparent.  You can prepare for an important phone call, ask someone to review your work and solicit feedback, observe others and identify areas to imitate, and at the end of each day, conduct your own personal after-action review on what you could have done better and actions you will take to improve.  Being honest and self-critical and also opening yourself up to constructive feedback from others require one to set their ego to the side and recognize the opportunity to learn and get better.  Whether you are a junior military officer or a business leader, what can you do to improve your performance daily?  What do you need to change to prepare and practice more consistently to reach your goals and dreams?  Take time to reflect, and then write down your action steps.

Consistent preparation and practice also applies to successful interviewing in a career transition.  I personally speak with over a thousand JMOs a year, and I am amazed as to how many do not realize the importance of preparation and practice considering the military has trained the junior military officer to analyze their environment, develop courses of action, select plans, rehearse, practice, train, qualify and then execute.  Yet, too many JMOs get close to their separation and have not read business books or periodicals to stay current on business topics and issues, analyzed how their backgrounds relate to various career opportunities, studied frequently asked interview questions, written out answers to them, and practiced them repeatedly alone and with study partners.  You can take Mack’s quote from above and it could say, “Consistency separates good interviewers from great ones.  The best interviewers win consistently because they think, act and practice consistently.” 

 The Cameron-Brooks Development and Preparation Program© (DPP©) is based on the model of consistent preparation and practice.  DPP© includes the foundation of reading, self-analysis, studying business concepts, interview preparation and practice.  DPP is not just about consistent preparation and practice for the career transition, but most importantly, a habit that allows our Alumni to grow in their careers and reach top leadership positions in their companies.

Joel Junker