I have had a long and rewarding career in the senior living industry. I have been through numerous state inspections, family meetings and owner’s asset tours. Through all of these, I have always tried to “put my best foot forward.” This philosophy has served me well in obtaining better than expected outcomes with the people I encounter. A few extra minutes reviewing the state report or touring the building prior to the conference has eliminated a lot of embarrassing questions and findings. It hasn’t always worked but does leave me with the assurance that I did my best.
I must confess that I learned this the hard way. Several years ago, I had an extremely hectic few days. I was literally running from appointment to appointment all week. I had a financial review scheduled with Mr. Stickler for the numbers. My assistant gave me the folder as I walked down the hall into the meeting. I hadn’t even sat down at the table, before he started grilling me on why my expenses were so high compared to the revenue. I could feel the heat in the room, as I attempted to give him the answer on the fly.
I silently asked myself why I didn’t take a few minutes to review the financials before I came into the meeting. I would have been able to speak with authority and knowledge.
The Best Foot Forward approach can work in any area of your life. Our days are always full of encounters – scheduled or unscheduled. We are frequently asked questions that if we had done our homework, the answer would have been easy. Whether it’s a casual get-together with your family to plan the holiday dinner or a more serious meeting with your doctor, would it not be better if you took a few minutes to prepare?
I prepare, not to impress others, but I prepare to respect and impress myself. In addition, it leaves me with a feeling of control and confidence. The other benefit of this philosophy is that you are perceived as knowledgeable and calm.
The next time you have a meeting with your boss, your child’s teacher or the neighborhood watch group, take a few moments and review those materials ahead of time. You will be glad you did.
I’m competitive with myself, and that goes hand in hand with how I present myself. I’m not only trying to put one foot in front of the other, I’m trying to put my best foot forward.