What’s your PQ? No, not your pleasure quotient. What is your preparation quotient?
It seems like a simple enough question with either yes or no for an answer. However, it’s a little more complex than that. If you answered yes you are prepared, the next logical question is: how have you prepared and have you prepared effectively?
How are you prepared to take on your next goal or task? Are you prepared for the next opportunity that presents itself? Your PQ is an indication of how serious you are about your goals and accomplishing them.
Whether you are employed in the private or public sector or own a business, your level of preparation can have a significant impact on your success.
There are at least 4 levels of preparation. Which level of preparation do you employ most often?
|None||No preparation. Flying by the seat of your pants
|Cursory||Review of information or materials that is just enough to get by
|Moderate||Have reviewed materials in advance of discussion and possibly made notes and ready to participate and contribute
|Thorough||Reviewed all information or materials that are pertinent and available, have formed questions and created a cheat sheet to provide answers to potential questions. Ready to participate, contribute and lead.
Here are scenarios and questions where your level of preparation can make the margin of difference in your career or business:
1. An opportunity for a new position is presented to you.
- How quickly could you react and respond and be ready to ace the first round interview?
- Is your resume up to date reflecting important accomplishments?
- Do you know what your core strength is and how you contribute to a team?
- Do you know your management, communication and leadership styles?
If you are just beginning your career path, the answers to these questions are still forming. However, if you are a seasoned professional, these are answers you should be able to respond to without hesitation.
2. There’s an important meeting coming up which you are invited to participate or tasked to lead.
What are the first steps you should take to be prepared to effectively participate and/or lead? Do you know:
- The purpose of the meeting and the desired outcome
- The meeting agenda
- Meeting invitees, their respective roles within the organization and on the project at hand
- Your role in the meeting if you are not the leader
- Are there documents that should be reviewed in advance and if so, how far in advance of the meeting will the documents be published?
3. You own a business and the opportunity to bid on a contract that seems tailor made for your company is presented to you.
- Do you have a pre-selected and vetted team of professionals you can call on to assist in the development of the response to the RFP?
- Do you have responses to standard questions about your company already prepared?
- Do you have case studies that you can present or discuss that illustrate your company’s capabilities?
While thorough preparation may not always be possible, no preparation at all is not a formula for success. How well you prepare is a huge part of how you will be perceived in your professional environment and professional circles. It also signals to others how serious you are about the task at hand.
Preparation leads to excellence which leads to effectiveness. All three are habits that should be developed and baked into the DNA of your personal brand.
Based on your goals and what it is you say you want, what are you prepared for and how have you prepared for it? Take some time to consider this and adjust accordingly.
In the meantime, remember, life is about choices. What will you choose for you today?