I am driving to Leicestershire to deliver project management training for Thera www.thera.co.uk Operation’s Managers and listening to the radio.  A couple of football pundits are discussing a football team’s players who have underperformed throughout the season despite ‘on paper’ being incredibly talented.  The pundit said “they have not been ‘on it’ all season.   I had seen some of the matches on TV and I knew what he meant, but for the life of me I couldn’t understand why they were ‘not on it’.  How can you do something you love and not be ‘on it’?

It made me think; what does ‘on it’ mean, am I ‘on it’? What do you need to do to be ‘on it’?

What does not being ON IT mean?

Listening to the pundits debating the merits of the team in question, it was clear on what it meant to them (and me):

  • The players didn’t have any clear direction – they were not playing to previously agreed systems or tactics
  • They were distracted by things and issues that didn’t matter on and off the field of play
  • They were unproductive – their level of productivity was low and not where it could or should have been
  • They didn’t care about ‘winning’
  • They were playing as individuals and not as a team.

How do I know when I’m ON IT?

  • I am in the moment and I am fully present – not thinking about the past or future
  • I am fully engaged with the people I am working with, listening and communicating.
  • I am delivering results – getting stuff done – I can see something tangible for my efforts
  • I pay attention to the detail – nothing escapes my attention and I sweat the small stuff.
  • I know what my mission is and I am totally focused on achieving it.
  • I know what my vision is and how I am going to get there.

What do you need to be, to be ON IT?

  • A strong work ethic. You can have all the talent (on paper) like the football team I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, but if you are not on it you will lose.  Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
  • It helps if you are doing something you are passionate about! Do the work you were always meant to do  https://leadershipintheraw.org/2016/07/27/do-the-work-you-were-always-meant-to-do/ I have found mine with dosh.org
  • You need to think what is the main objective here today? Then start your day by hitting the ground running, keeping a laser like focus on achieving that big objective.
  • Everything about you: the way you dress, your body language and the way you speak needs to be communicating that you are 100% positive on the outcomes you want to achieve, so it becomes your default mind-set.
  • You need to be a role model for the rest of your team so they are always ON IT too. Take people with you today and every day

Leaving home at 4.30am this morning to get to the venue to deliver the Project Management workshop and return home afterwards, I am pretty sure I was on it throughout the day.  I needed to be!  It is a big subject to deliver in one day and the people I was delivering to were all experienced senior managers.

I’ve made it home in time to sit down with my wife and our two daughters for our evening meal.  Around the dinner table the conversation and repartee as always is lively and witty.  I think I must have missed something aimed at me as Joyce has just said to Jennifer “I am afraid your Dad is not ON IT at the moment” and immediately laughter follows.  That’s showbiz………..


Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.

Zig Ziglar