Category Archives: #ThursdayThought
One thing interesting about goals and change. No matter when you initiate progress, the starting point is always the same.
Regardless if an individual or team has had years of sustained success or just barely starting out, the reference line is always the same. You start on the ground, your baseline being achievement of a new goal.
It consistently begins with a dream, goal, eye towards change or progress. No matter what success or failure has preceded it, the next step towards achievement is always knowing the big picture and then marshaling efforts and resources towards attaining it,
Knowing this starting point is key for a couple of reasons. First is knowing that past success – or failure – has no bearing whatsoever on future success. While recent success might create more confidence going in, there is never a guarantee for the next success, let alone that any foundational achievements will fundamentally ensure the next achievement.
This leads us to the second reason to know about this starting point. It should keep individuals and teams humble enough to know that everyone, every cause, every step towards progress starts all over again at this point.
Leaders have to instill trust and integrity every day en route to results. Athletes have the next competition to prepare for; even champions have to start a new season at zero just like their competition. New products and services must give way to the next enhancement or new product.
Any progress is all about perspective. Having the right perspective keeps one grounded, humble and willing to work hard towards the next worthwhile endeavor.
Start with the right perspective to increase your ability to reach the destination you’re plotting for.
If you put mustard on an ice cream sundae it would probably rate as one of the worst tastes you’ve ever experienced.
But when placed on a deli sandwich or a hamburger, that mustard now becomes an excelling ingredient to the meal.
Employees are like that as well.
How many times have you seen an employee struggle in a particular team, department or company, only to thrive in a new environment?
Was it because the employee was a poor performer before, and learned to excel finally with a new chance?
Most likely, it was because the employee was the right one, but the team in which they were formerly on was not a conducive recipe to bring out the qualities of that individual.
You see this many times with athletes who come under coaches on the same or a different team who teach better, appreciate the player’s skills, and give them the chances to succeed.
Employees in companies know when they’re under-appreciated, under-utilized or working for toxic leadership. When someone leaves a team or company and thrives in their new environment, it’s almost always because the former leadership didn’t place a proper value on what the employee possessed for talent.
People always work better and succeed in an environment that allows the flavor of their skills to shine.
A winning mindset is a good thing. Until you can’t stand to lose.
Winning – making the sale, hitting your metrics, gaining influence, moving forward in your career – are all noble pursuits. Yet if none of these make you a better person or better leader, then what’s the point?
I knew a baseball coach whose desire to win was so intense, over the years he created tension in his players. You could also see the deterioration of the coach’s health as well. He said he was relaxed, but his drive to win became an unhealthy mindset. And as this coach’s position was their second job, he came close to making a shipwreck of his primary job as that drive to win at baseball consumed him 24/7.
This drive also started to create friction at his home and in the community, as he became known as someone who used to be a pleasant person to the coach that no one could stand to be around.
It would have been absolutely alright for this coach to allow himself to lose. It would have made his players less on edge, they would have had a more enjoyable time playing and developing their skills, and the coach would have become a better all-around person.
If you have to win at all costs or win by running over people, you are quite likely to be out of balance in all other areas of your life. Thinking of winning from the moment you get up until the moment you retire at night – because you HAVE to win – is a race to the top that eventually drives one to the bottom at some point in their careers.
Knowing how to lose, and when to lose is a healthy balance. But losing creates something far better than winning. It gives one perspective as to how to improve as a leader and be better the next time. And if that next time is a losing effort as well, it provides another opportunity to learn, grow, get perspective and learn how to lose.
Winning isn’t everything. Everything else is everything.