Football coach Vince Lombardi put it well, “The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win.” Most people have the will to win. Most people enjoy winning and all that comes with it. The people willing to put in the hard work over time required to prepare to win are far more rare. Great performers have that rare will to prepare.

What makes this even more challenging is that it’s not a one-time thing. You can’t prepare to win once and then just let success flow. Great performers have the will to prepare to win over and over again.

Onboarding moments of truth

When it comes to onboarding, there are several moments of truth to prepare for:
– first contact
– each and every interview
– due diligence
– negotiations
– accepting the job
– the Fuzzy Front End itself (time between acceptance and start)
– each and every interaction with stakeholders during the Fuzzy Front End
– day one
– each and every interaction with stakeholders in the early days of the job
– pivotal meetings and events like the imperative meeting, milestones, early win meetings, role sort meetings

Preparing others to win

To add another layer of complexity, it’s often not good enough just to prepare yourself to win, you have to prepare others so you can win together. For hiring managers, there are two pivotal moments of collaboration, building alignment around a Total Onboarding Program including role definition, and partnering with the new employee to co-create a Personal Onboarding Plan. Both of these fall into the category of preparation. Both of these are things that require a rare willingness to prepare to win together.