Can you plan to be successful? It is a question I am asked often. Of course, the answer is a resounding YES! So, the next question I know you’ll want to be answered is, “how do I plan to be successful?”

I’m fortunate to spend time with leaders at various phases of their careers. In one meeting, I had the opportunity to spend time with a group of aspiring leaders. After sharing my career journey and several leadership lessons, the conversation shifted to a question-and-answer session. Over the next hour, they peppered me with questions.

As we were preparing to wrap up, one shy aspiring leader raised their hand. Unfortunately, the leader had been quiet during the entire session. In fact, I didn’t think they were paying attention during any of our time together.

After they cleared their throat, this aspiring leader asked, “how can you plan to be successful if you don’t know what to expect?” Over the next several minutes, we discussed different strategies to address the question.

As I drove home from the meeting, I thought more about the aspiring leader’s question. Then, I recalled a fill-in-the-blank strategy statement I recently learned from Craig Groschel, Executive Pastor of Life.Church.

One of my most fulfilling weekend activities is viewing Life.Church. The church is based in Oklahoma and has an extensive online presence. Over the last six weeks, Pastor Groeschel has been teaching pre-deciding to impact your decisions positively.

According to Pastor Groeschel, “the quality of your decisions determines the quality of your life.” So, if you predetermine your actions in different situations, the quality of your decisions will improve.

So, what is the strategy statement?

When faced with  __________________  (this situation),

I have pre-decided to  _______________  (take this action).

The strategy predetermines your responses to different situations.

As I thought about the aspiring leader’s question, I recalled Pastor Groeschel’s pre-decision to assist with predetermining. Then, I wondered, “how could the declarations help leaders predetermine to succeed?

Using Pastor Groeschel’s sentence stem, “I am ______” and his six pre-decision words to fill in the blank, the following can help leaders predetermine to succeed:

  • Ready: I am ready to take on challenges
  • Consistent: I am consistent in my actions
  • Devoted: I am committed to excellence
  • Generous: I am generous with my time and resources
  • Faithful: I am committed to my values
  • A Finisher: I finish what I start

How can those six pre-decisions help you plan to succeed if you don’t know what to expect? By preparing you psychologically to consistently predetermine your actions.

“Successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally.”

Pastor Craig Groeschel

Have you predetermined your success?


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  • Good thoughts that can be beneficial in all aspects of life. Thank you, Kim and Pastor Groeschel!

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    About the author

    I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.