Take on the role before you can assume the role

I realized that for IBM to become a great company it would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one.
Thomas J. Watson

To be great, you have to act great. You don’t wait until you are great to start acting like it.
Take on the role well before it’s yours.

You take on your desired role way before it’s actually yours. That’s how you get to deserve it.

This is very similar to changing identities to reinforce or implement habits. To run reguarly, you must become a runner—and identities bring values, ideas, and habits. (Habits shape your identity)

I heard Mike Tyson speaking of something similar, I think on the Lewis Howes podcast. He said: “To be the champ, you have to be the champ.”1

You don’t become the best without deserving it. And the best way to deserve it is to act as if you already have/are it—to assume the role before it’s yours. I like Charlie Munger‘s quip about how you could find a good wife: ”Deserve one.”2

==I think Jordan B. Peterson says something about this in this interview, but I’m not certain. Added video to read later queue.==


  1. https://lewishowes.com/podcast/mike-tyson-the-mind-and-journey-of-a-champion-fighter/#:~:text=Mike:%20When%20I%20was%2014,you%20can%20wear%20the%20belt.

  2. { Poor Charlie’s Almanack