Back when I first started playing basketball, I quickly found out that defensive positions were my favorite.
Defense required quickness and alertness. But if I got tired, it was definitely noticeable on the court with the amount of fouls I would make.
One afternoon, my basketball coach took me to the side and said, “Hope, I can’t afford for you to get tired and start fouling everyone.”
I told him, “I know, but how else am I supposed to get the ball?”
He said, “You’re reacting instead of being proactive. Defense is all about anticipating what’s going to happen next. If you don’t anticipate, you’re just reacting—and that’s how fouls happen.”
A lot of preventable mishaps occur in organizations because leaders start getting tired and stop wanting to play defense.
With such a hectic work schedule, it’s hard to fit in time to make sure your team is ready for whatever emergencies or disasters that may come its way. But events like the tragic school shooting in Washington lets us know that anything can happen at any time.
What’s your game plan? How are you, as all leaders should, anticipating what could happen next?
All those plans, drills, and practice procedures are there for a reason. When’s the last time your organization had a fire drill, or a tornado drill, or a lockdown?
What about the technological side of things? Do you have the latest anti-virus software? Do you have a social media policy? Is it up to date? (The internet is constantly changing, so anything older than three years old needs to be rechecked.)
This isn’t the time to conclude that “you’ll cross that bridge when you get to it.”
Know how you’re going to cross the bridge before you can even see it.
You have to stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready. Otherwise, you’ll always be a step behind the game.