A Blog by John Bossong

Your Leadership Reflects Your Preparation

When you see an organization that is doing well and running on all cylinders, it seems like magic.  The sales team is producing great revenue, customer service is churning out Raving Fans and the people are all focussed on the purpose and mission of the organization. 



Seems easy and effortless. 

When you see someone’s perfect website, or watch their seamless launch, you aren’t witnessing the blood, sweat, and tears that went into it. You see the beautiful product displays, not the clogged toilets, piles of spreadsheets, and hours upon hours of hard labor.

What appears to have happened overnight, took years and sometimes decades to perfect. 

Transfer this to leadership: Any great leader will tell you you’re only as good as your preparation. If you don’t prepare hard, you can’t perform well. And if you don’t perform well, you can’t win.

How much effort you dedicate to the background work of your business will determine how far you will go. Everyone from Bill Gates to Steve Jobs to Dave Ramsey to Warren Buffet knows it’s the hours of preparation and practice that determine how far you go.

4 Keys To Success in Leadership and Business

#1 – Practice. There are no overnight successess.  Have you put in your 10,000 hours (Malcolm Gladwell)? Are you continuing to do what author Jim Collins call the hedgehog concept?  Everyday, do what you do best and slowly turn the flywheel.  It won’t turn itself.  You have to practice your skill every day.  You can’t get good at something if you are not commited to putting in the time.  There are no shortcuts. 

#2 – Listen. Accept feedback from your mentors and leaders without getting defensive. They’re just trying to make you the best you can be.

#3 – Try new things. Adjust processes that don’t work or need improvement, try a new marketing angle, take a few risks to see how something works. Create a new product or service.  Work on wowing your customers.  Your values and purpose stay the same.  Your processes and the way you do things can change. 

#4 – Work with your people. A great organizational culture is built over time. It won’t just happen.  You have to be intentional about it.  What can you do to create a spirit of teamwork with your employees before you’re under the gun? If you wait until the pressure is on, it’s too late.  Your people need to know they work with you not for you.  They don’t need a boss or someone with a VP title.  They need a leader who cares and wants them to succeed. 

Real motivation must come from within. Within each person on the team.  Remember character is how you act when no one is looking – and character is what makes a real leader.  Not a title or position. 

Set an example for your people.  Show them how to handle adversity, teach them how to take non-fatal risks, utilize the collective wisdom of your team and succeed.   

When you show people you are ready to learn, they will follow you and buy in.  Create a learning organization.

What other keys would you add to this list? 


  1. Love this one John! I really need to make a point to comment more. I’ve silently learned a lot from you as a subscriber! Hope you’re doing well.

    • Joel,

      Great to hear from you. Glad you are doing well. I’m glad I’ve provided some value for you. My new ebook will be out soon. It’s titled Why Not You? A Pocket Guide To Leadership. You’ll get a copy through the subscriber list. Take care,


  2. Fantastic reminder, John! Even though we stress the importance of practice with our clients, it’s hard to get them to see the opportunities all around them! We will be tweeting your article! Thanks!

  3. Cassandra Charles-Bagott says:

    Really good article and check list…will happily share this with my fellow colleagues.

  4. Rammohan M. Rai says:

    Nice article, John, thank you.

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