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Thursday, November 27, 2014

LONG-TERM PREPARATION

I absolutely love this story from "Leadership Gold" by John Maxwell.  It speaks to the importance of preparation.  Not just preparation of studying for an exam the night before or prep work the week leading up to a game.  But the years of training -- the lifetime of grind -- all to prepare for a single moment in which you may or may not know when it arrives.  Here is the story shared by Maxwell:

As a small private jet approached the runway, we were celebrating the success of the week. Then, in a moment, everything changed. The plane was hit by a wind shear and dropped straight down to the runway, the wheels hitting out of balance. All conversation stopped and our eyes widened as we realized we were in danger. The pilot, without hesitation, pushed the throttle and launched the plane back into the air. In a split second we went from celebration to sober reflection. We all realized that could have been it! We sat quietly as the plane circled the airfield, and a few minutes later we landed safely.

We all applauded and now began to relax and breathe. As we got off the plane, we thanked the captain for keeping us safe. I said to him, “That was a close call. You responded so quickly to the crisis. When did you make the decision to put the plane back into the air?”

His reply amazed me: “Fifteen years ago.”

He went on to explain how as a young pilot in training, he decided in advance what decision he would make for every possible air problem. “The choice was made long before the crisis,” he said.