Preparing For Pivotal Moments


I’m privileged to host a weekly radio program on iHeart radio called Great Life, Great Career with Scott Miller.

With each program, I feature a new guest on a topic related to creating greatness in our lives and careers.

This past week’s guest was Daniel McGinn, an editor at the Harvard Business Review and author of the book Psyched Up. We discussed the value of pre-performance rituals and whether they apply to those of us not trying to become high-performance athletes, opera singers, or Broadway actors.

In our interview, he said something immensely practical that I think we can all apply. Each of us has pivotal moments in our lives, regardless of our stages and roles. He suggested perhaps 6-10 each year: a new job interview, a conversation with your leader about a promotion, submitting the manuscript to a publisher you’ve been writing for years. Maybe it’s a marathon you intend to run, a work presentation, a speech, or simply an important conversation you need to have with your mother about her health.

I’ve taken this task seriously and have looked ahead at my 2019. I’ve currently identified five pivotal moments, all professional, that I intend to accomplish. Each will require significant focus and hard work. I’m rather transparent (sometimes to my own detriment), but because I try to be fearless, I’ll share them with you:

  • Grow FranklinCovey’s On Leadership weekly, a digital newsletter to become the most valued and largest in the world.
  • Move FranklinCovey’s Great Life, Great Career iHeart radio program into national syndication and begin to broadcast daily, from client locations outside the radio studio.
  • Launch two influential books that I am authoring or co-authoring (The 30-Day Leadership Challenge and The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team).
  • Launch a weekly article in Inc. magazine.
  • Grow my LinkedIn followers to 100,000+ by providing unique, daily value.

That’s half the task. 

Dan proceeded to talk about the value of understanding your own launch sequence, specifically planning out the actions to make these pivotal moments successful. Might be refining your own plan to ensure you have time set aside to develop and advance your skills. Might be increased mindfulness or quiet time dedicated to envisioning what success looks like and how you’ll achieve it. Might be a calming or focusing ritual you perform just before your moment comes about.

What about you—do you have any upcoming pivotal moments? What are you doing to prepare for them? 

I think my launch sequence is more about thoughtfulness and preparation, less about good-luck charms or rituals.

But if you want to lend me your lucky rabbit’s foot, I’m delighted to give you my address.

Don’t leave the success of your first-level leaders, and your organization, to chance—download our complimentary guide today and help them make the mental leap to leader. 

About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as Senior Advisor, Thought Leadership. Scott hosts the world’s largest and fastest-growing podcast/newsletter devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Releases, Master Mentors: 30 Transformative Insights From Our Greatest Minds, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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