Wednesday Wisdom–Relentless Preparation

Today, a number of us attended the Lubbock Hotel Motel Association monthly luncheon and heard a presentation from Texas Tech Associate Professor Dr. Barent McCool.  Dr. McCool expertly shared about crisis management plans for organizations and for individuals, and a primary theme throughout his discussion was “preparedness”.  It reminded me of our very first Wednesday Wisdom, a note about Rudy Giuliani’s “relentless preparation” principle.  In light of this important topic, today’s Wednesday Wisdom revisits that first edition.

Wednesday Wisdom–Relentless Preparation (Originally published April 13, 2016)

Wanted to share a little Wednesday Wisdom that’s been on my mind this week, and apply it to our every day at the end.  Today’s wisdom comes from Rudy Giuliani, who as most of you know was mayor of New York City at the time of 9/11 and also a federal prosecutor.  Rudy Giuliani has several guiding principles that he has lived by, and these principles not only got got him through the days and weeks post 9/11, but through his professional life as well.  His principles of success, if you will.

All of Mr. Giuliani’s principles are impactful (and I encourage you to look them up), but the one that stands out today is what he refers to as “Relentless Preparation”.  When Giuliani was a federal prosecutor starting out in his career, a judge told him that “for every hour of trial, you should spend at least four hours preparing.”  Now, the first time I heard that I was a trial attorney, so my ears especially perked up—because that meant even for a little 30-minute hearing in front of the judge, or a 30-minute client meeting, I should be spending at least two hours in preparation.

Mr. Giuliani always followed that rule of thumb and as a result, upon becoming Mayor, applied that to the preparedness planning for the City of New York.  With Giuliani’s involvement, NYC had dozens of emergency plans, including one for high-rise firefighting and evacuating as many as 400,000 people from lower Manhattan (in the case of hurricane flooding as the area is slightly below sea-level).  From the moment Giuliani was informed of the plane hitting that first tower, he went back in his own mind and took what was in all of those plans and began applying what could be used to help deal with what he immediately knew was a terrorist attack.  Obviously no one expected the events of 9/11 to ever happen, but by being ready for virtually anything else that could happen, by being “relentlessly prepared”, he and his team were able to face any possible obstacle and overcome any “fear of potential failure”.  According to Giuliani, by “planning for everything you can think of”, you can “deal with the unplanned”, because “familiarity makes anything easier”.

What are some ways we can apply “relentless preparation” to our business and the everyday?   Relentless preparation could be studying and analyzing reports ahead of a revenue meeting, or preparing for the next inspection as soon as one concludes, or thinking through scenarios that could occur in the hotel and formulating plans.  The thing that relentless preparation takes is time, which we all want more of, but it’s definitely a keystone of success.

What are some ways you relentlessly prepare?  One simple way I prepare is asking for a copy of our GM meeting agenda ahead of time and running through each item on my own, thinking through points and considerations for each topic.  Share something with us that’s part of your relentless preparation.