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Playbook for Success: A Hall of Famer's Business Tactics for Teamwork and Leadership by Nancy Lieberman

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Chapter 7. Do Your Homework

The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.

Joe Paterno, Hall of Fame College Football Coach

Do you know what every professional sports team and player does before a game? They watch hours and hours of video of their opponents. They look at pages upon pages of statistics on themselves and those they will face on the field or the court. By game day, we know their strengths and weaknesses as well as we know our own, and we've made the necessary adjustments in our own play to take advantage of that knowledge. Preparation takes the guesswork out of what you are about to encounter.

Everyone has basic tendencies in all that they do, whether its sports or business. And one thing is true in either field: It always helps to put together a hotshot team that you trust. Game plans and strategies change in the professional world, as do personnel and business environments. We must be prepared for change, and how prepared we are will be determined by how flexible we are. It's always necessary to have a contingency plan in place.

I still laugh today when I look back at how Martina Navratilova and I changed the women's tennis tour when I trained her. No wonder I don't get Christmas cards from any of her former competitors today! Martina took the trophies, money, and the other players' places in history, by doing her homework and being open to change.

Unlike basketball players and coaches who traditionally have scouted each player's and team's tendencies ...

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