✏ The Prevent Mindset: Avoiding Average

For those who are football fans, you have most likely heard the term the “prevent defense”. It’s used late in the 4th quarter when a coach feels like they have a safe lead, so they adjust into a defensive formation to prevent the opposing team from scoring a field goal or touchdown by giving more space to receivers and pushing the secondary a few yards back so they don’t give up the big play. For those who may not be familiar with what I am talking about, an easy way to think about it is the defense is in a formation to “prevent” the big play from happening – which could threaten the lead, or even risk the loss.

Most fans don’t necessarily agree with this approach. In fact, on numerous occasions, you will see that the offense is prepared and have worked on this “prevent” formation and it becomes a game of chess. The problem is, the defense is playing checkers. This is where the phrase “All the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning!” comes from.

Any given Sunday, you may see this ploy, but I want you to think about it through a different lens.

For leaders, there are times where we feel things are going according to plan, our teams are meeting expectations and there is a momentum occurring — and we don’t want to break the stride. Instead of raising the bar to see if the team can achieve a little more, we subscribe to a “prevent mindset,”  which in essence is just a comfort zone. But let me challenge you . . .

Which is the better time to show those your team that they are capable of achieving more than they think they can, in good times or in bad?  Would you raise the bar when the team’s goals become so unattainable and their attitudes reflect discouragement, or when they are on a roll and things are falling into place as a result of the business plan, effective leadership and a synergy of accomplishment? Obviously the second choice.

“Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average.”

— Jim Rohn

Don’t fall into the prevent mindset, if you do, you may fall into the trap of accepting the status quo. I believe the status quo is average people leading average lives with average fulfillment and average accomplishments.

You are not average. 

You are not working to achieve average. You lead with a goal of making an impact and eliciting greatness out of others. That will not occur with a prevent mindset. Raise the bar, push those you lead to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Use their current state of success to drive them to the next level. Here are a few examples of what makes a strong leader:

  • Strong leaders work directly with their teams in highlighting respective strengths to identify specific goals that push their efforts in such a way that it elicits excitement
  • Strong leaders get involved in the solution rather than just identifying the problem
  • Strong leaders are optimistic that those they lead will be successful, and are willing to empower them to build the confidence they need to exceed expectations

If you are midway through an objective, and not only do the analytics support a successful approach, but the enthusiasm and buy-in of your team reinforce it – then raise the bar. Be specific in your communication why you are doing it. Challenge your team to exceed expectations at every opportunity that presents itself. Not only will it raise the morale of the team, but the confidence it instills in the individual is priceless. There is no training that can replicate the improvements in the fundamental skill sets that happen when you turn up the speed from a comfortable pace. You do it gradually — never accelerate to a point that the distance between where they are and where you intend to take them becomes a struggle. Otherwise, you risk burnout.

As a leader, you will need to have the Plan A (what you are currently a part of),  a Plan B (the acceleration), and even a Plan C (the control plan to ensure you find equilibrium).

It’s the leadership equivalent of always playing offense – control the ball, dictate the momentum, control the timing, and be proactive rather than reactive. These are the teams that are successful because they play with the advantage. If you are on the defensive side, you are forced to react. In some cases, there may not even be a chance for adjustment before you realize the loss.

Eliminating the “prevent mindset” shows a proactive approach to success. If you train and communicate it effectively, you will in turn create better leaders. After all, that is the goal? A successful leader’s intent is to always to build more successful leaders.

Don’t PREVENT it from happening!

Go do great things today and make a difference.


Humbled to lead,

#ChargeUp #patience #prevent #success #leadership #RaiseTheBar



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©2019 Victor Pisano/Charge Up. All rights reserved. You are free to use portions of this publication, provided the following credit is listed at the bottom: ©2019 Victor Pisano/Charge Up, is a media-based entity that provides intriguing, innovative and distinctive content, engaging its readers with real-world challenges and solutions while embracing obstacles and the value that failure can provide. While that sounds serious, we promise you will both learn AND laugh (and sometimes cry).Contact Charge Up at victor@chargeuptoday.com or visit our website at www.chargeuptoday.com.

Victor Pisano✏ The Prevent Mindset: Avoiding Average
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