The greatest practice building advantage of all
Recently, I concluded a two-year study of the most successful practices I've ever coached. The knowledge gained from this body of work is worthy of an entire book. However, there was one conclusion that stood out among the rest: One's ability to anticipate is the greatest practice building advantage of all.
Anticipation means to act in advance of or realize beforehand. Some say it sounds like gambling, and they may be right. Wayne Gretsky, the greatest hockey player of all time, said his success largely came from skating to where he believed the puck was "going to be," rather than where everyone else was going. Imagine for a moment if Wayne was focused on one of his blades that felt a little dull or his jersey that had developed a tear or one of his teammates benched due to injury. Could that affect his ability to shoot and score points? Of course! When we're focused on problems or challenges in "real time," it prevents our minds from being able to anticipate "what's next."
We're not hindered nearly as much by the problems we experience in practice as by the focus we have upon them. Thinking about problems keeps our minds stuck on today, while thinking about solutions wires our minds for tomorrow. The opposite of anticipating is being reactive. In boxing, "counter punchers" are anything but reactive. They train themselves in the heat of battle to anticipate their opponent's jab, and slip it while simultaneously throwing a left hook for the knockout. We simply aren't training ourselves properly. In training, your team should be challenged by various issues or problems in the environment, while being forced to forward think in the moment. Anticipation is both gift and skill. Ali had the gift, while Joe Louis developed the skill.
Certainty means the expectation of something to occur. Anticipation requires wisdom to predict certain outcomes like referrals, revenue, conversions, kept visits, workshop attendance, and re-signs. Which of these outcomes can you successfully predict? Which ones seem to be more "hit and miss," and which appear - for now - to simply be out of your control? Professional race car drivers train their eyes away from the hood of their car, to the far curve of the next turn. By doing so, they trust their feet and hands to follow their eyes, and wind up accelerating through the turn at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour. The wisdom of knowing where "to look" separates the champions from everyone else. Imagine being able to predict where your referrals, revenue and retention are going to be every eight to twelve weeks!
We must understand that growth (like health) is the natural state of our practices. If your practice hasn't been growing recently or perhaps has even declined, realize something is unhealthy and demands attention.
The first aspect to evaluate is vision. Without it, your forward peripheral vision shrinks, which allows one or more vital functions of your practice to slip into the "blind spot." As in the race car example, where you train your eyes to look determines your success. Anticipation requires us to have a view 2,000 feet high above our practice, like an eagle who sees and knows everything at once. It's simple, we either see our practice as how we want it to be or how it is now (even worse is how it used to be). Growth is the product of knowing exactly what you want to build and attracting the opportunities that make it so.
LUCK has classically been defined as when preparation meets opportunity. Truly knowing what you want to create (with unwavering sacrifice), drives you to prepare better. With greater vision and preparation, you're able to see (attract) better opportunities for the ideal growth you wish to develop. As with vision, not all opportunities are constructive. The right vision, coupled with the right preparation and right opportunities, produces a very "lucky” future. Focusing on what's not right, leaves you with a myopic view of your practice, and an uninspiring disposition to intensive preparation. Imagine your practice growing 20% per year for the next 10 years, and seeing it unfold before it happens! Luck begins by knowing you'll never be perfect. However, the principle we love, serve and protect, is perfect. The more our practices are built upon principle rather than personality, the luckier we become.
What do you want your legacy to be? It isn't too late to write the script and bring your dream to life. Anticipation is the engine that makes dreams come true. To learn how you can become a master of anticipation, give me a call today. Sometimes it's just a matter of knowing where to look and what to focus on.
(Dr. CJ Mertz is the founder and head coach of Full Potential Leadership, the leading chiropractic training organization. For more of Dr. Mertz's training material, visit his blog at http://truenorth.fpl4life.com. To transform your life and your practice using your Full Potential, visit the FPL website at www.fpl4life.com or call the FPL team today at 512-474-1895.)
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