Thursday, April 22, 2010
"We are either progressing or retrograding all the while. There is no such thing as remaining stationary in this life."
A train travelling 55 mph on a railroad track can crash through a 5-foot thick steel-reinforced concrete wall without stopping. That same train, starting from a stationary position, won't be able to go through an inch-thick block in front of the driving wheel.
It is never the size of your problem that is the problem. It's a lack of momentum. Without momentum, even a tiny obstacle can prevent you from moving forward. With momentum, you'll navigate through problems and barely even notice them.
As a leader, your responsibility is to understand momentum, to get it moving for your organization, and to sustain it over time. Momentum can be tricky to comprehend, though, often appearing elusive and intangible. In this article, my goal is to give you handles so that you can better recognize how to generate momentum in your workplace. To help you grasp the concept of momentum, I'll outline ten momentum breakers alongside ten momentum makers.
Momentum Breakers and Makers
Momentum breaker - double-mindedness
Momentum maker - focus
By creating and following a clear and focused vision statement, a leader develops momentum. A leader drains away momentum by shooting at nothing or attempting everything.
Movement causes friction. When you paint a target for your team, you'll likely encounter resistance. As a leader, you can't restrict yourself by living inside of someone else's comfort zone. Great accomplishments require leaders to fix their gaze beyond what's easily attainable.
Momentum breaker - the past
Momentum maker - the future
An organization picks up steam when its leaders point to a better tomorrow. Momentum breaks down when leaders preoccupy themselves with the past. Or, as I've heard quoted, "Losers yearn for the past and get stuck in it. Winners learn from the past and let go of it."
Many people have powerful dreams. However, most don't realize that the viability of their ideal tomorrow is based on what they do today. The difference between a dream and wishful thinking is what you're doing now. Practice today what you want to be tomorrow. If you do it well enough, someday you may arrive at your dream.
Momentum breaker - individualism
Momentum maker - teamwork
If you want to kill momentum, then insist on doing things by yourself. Momentum grows through team victories in which numerous people can claim to have played a role. The level of celebration on a team depends upon the level of participation.
Momentum breaker - critical attitude
Momentum maker - constructive attitude
Tennis great Chris Evert said it best, "The thing that separates good players from great ones is mental attitude. It might only make a difference of two or three points over an entire match, but how you play those key points often makes the difference between winning and losing."
Momentum breaker - tradition
Momentum maker - creativity
Don't tear down the fence until you understand why it was built. At the same time, relentlessly question the logic, "that's how we have always done it." What worked in the past may be outdated and could hold you back in the future.
Momentum breaker - apathy
Momentum maker - passion
Passion energizes your talent and rubs off on those around you. If you have courage, then you will influence people based on your passionate convictions. If you lack courage, then you will only influence people to the extent of your comfort zone.
Momentum breaker - dishonesty
Momentum maker - character
Character is the sum total of our everyday choices. It cannot be built overnight. A trustworthy leader has a much easier time generating momentum than a leader with a reputation of being manipulative and deceitful.
Momentum breaker - conformity
Momentum maker - change
As John F. Kennedy said, "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." Sticking with the status quo won't create an ounce of momentum. Although it's difficult and may demand sacrifice, change is required to build momentum.
Momentum breaker - ingratitude
Momentum maker - gratitude
As a Chinese proverb states, "Those who drink the water must remember those who dug the well." No one can claim to be self-made. Whatever accomplishments we attain in life have connections to the goodwill and support of those around us. When we express thankfulness for the benefits bestowed upon us by friends and colleagues, then those people are more apt to aid us again in the future.
Momentum breaker - indecision
Momentum maker - action
I am never overly impressed with idea people. Anyone who takes a long shower can come up with a good idea. I'm impressed with a person who has the tenacity and discipline to make ideas happen.
I've seen many leaders break the momentum on their team by succumbing to the paralysis of analysis. Leaders have to act with incomplete information. You can never know all of the variables. Momentum and risk go hand in hand. As a leader, if you always play it safe, then you'll never inspire excitement in those you lead.
Monday, April 19, 2010
...pick up shooters on the break
...everyone looks to take hits
...pinch and blockout on free throws
…“X” on free throws
...help in the post
...call for the ball as a teammate is saving the ball
from going out of bounds
...set great screens
...think team thoughts and doing everything to help
the team be successful.
...no one cares who gets the credit
...blockout every defensive possession
...crash the offensive boards on every possession
From Don Meyer’s Bison Basketball Notebook during his tenure at David Lipscomb University.
Your goals must be in harmony with one another, not contradictory. You cannot have a goal to be financially successful, or to build your own successful business, and simultaneously have a goal to spend half your day at the golf course or at the beach. Your goals have to be mutually supportive and mutually reinforcing.
Your goals must be challenging. They must make you stretch out without being overwhelmed. When you initially set goals, they should have about a 50 percent or better probability of success. This level of probability is ideal for motivation, yet not so difficult that you can become easily discouraged.
You should have both tangible and intangible goals, both quantitative and qualitative. You should have concrete goals that you can measure and evaluate objectively. At the same time, you should have qualitative goals, for your inner life and your relationships.
You need both short-term goals and long-term goals. You need goals for today and goals for five, ten, and twenty years from today. The ideal short-term timeframe for business, career and personal planning is about ninety days. The ideal long-term period for these same goals is two to three years. These time horizons seem to be the ideal for continuous motivation.
The ideal life is focused, purposeful, positive and organized so that you are moving toward goals that are important to you every hour of every day. You always know what you're doing and why. You have a continuous sense of forward motion. You feel like a "winner" most of the time.
The decision to become a goal-setting, goal achieving, future focused person gives you a tremendous sense of control. Your self-esteem increases as you progress toward your goals. You like and respect yourself more and more. Your personality improves and you become a more positive, confident person. You feel happy and exited about life. You open the floodgates of your potential and begin moving faster and faster toward becoming all that you were meant to be.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
“I didn’t want to give up, no matter how sick I was, or how tired I was, or how low on energy I was,” Jordan said. “I felt an obligation to my team, to the city of Chicago, to go out and five that extra effort.”
“Accept a loss as a learning experience,” said Jordan, “and never point fingers at your teammates.”
“There are plenty of teams in every sport that have great players and will never win titles,” explained Jordan. Most times, these players aren’t willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. The funny thing is, in the end, their unwillingness to sacrifice only makes individual goals more difficult to achieve.”
Monday, April 5, 2010
Which emotions cause people to act? There are four basic ones; each, or a combination of several, can trigger the most incredible activity. The day that you allow these emotions to fuel your desire is the day you’ll turn your life around.
One does not usually equate the word “disgust” with positive action. And yet properly channeled, disgust can change a person’s life. The person who feels disgusted has reached a point of no return. He or she is ready to throw down the gauntlet at life and say, “I’ve had it!” That’s what I said after many humiliating experiences at age 25. I said, “I don’t want to live like this anymore. I’ve had it with being broke. I’ve had it with being embarrassed, and I’ve had it with lying.”
Yes, productive feelings of disgust come when a person says, “Enough is enough.”
The “guy” has finally had it with mediocrity. He’s had it with those awful sick feelings of fear, pain and humiliation. He then decides he is “not going to live like this anymore.” Look out! This could be the day that turns a life around. Call it what you will: the “I’ve had it” day, the “never again” day, the “enough’s enough” day. Whatever you call it, it’s powerful! There is nothing so life-changing as gut-wrenching disgust!
Most of us need to be pushed to the wall to make decisions. And once we reach this point, we have to deal with the conflicting emotions that come with making them. We have reached a fork in the road. Now this fork can be a two-prong, three-prong, or even a four-prong fork. No wonder that decision-making can create knots in stomachs, keep us awake in the middle of the night, or make us break out in a cold sweat.
Making life-changing decisions can be likened to internal civil war. Conflicting armies of emotions, each with its own arsenal of reasons, battle each other for supremacy of our minds. And our resulting decisions, whether bold or timid, well thought out or impulsive, can either set the course of action or blind it.
I don’t have much advice to give you about decision-making except this: Whatever you do, don’t camp at the fork in the road. Decide. It’s far better to make a wrong decision than to not make one at all. Each of us must confront our emotional turmoil and sort out our feelings.
How does one gain desire? I don’t think I can answer this directly because there are many ways. But I do know two things about desire:
A. It comes from the inside not the outside.
B. It can be triggered by outside forces.
Almost anything can trigger desire. It’s a matter of timing as much as preparation. It might be a song that tugs at the heart. It might be a memorable sermon. It might be a movie, a conversation with a friend, a confrontation with the enemy, or a bitter experience. Even a book or an article such as this one can trigger the inner mechanism that will make some people say, “I want it now!”
Therefore, while searching for your “hot button” of pure, raw desire, welcome into your life each positive experience. Don’t erect a wall to protect you from experiencing life. The same wall that keeps out your disappointment also keeps out the sunlight of enriching experiences. So let life touch you. The next touch could be the one that turns your life around.
Resolve says, “I will.” These two words are among the most potent in the English language. I WILL. Benjamin Disraeli, the great British statesman, once said, “Nothing can resist a human will that will stake even its existence on the extent of its purpose.” In other words, when someone resolves to “do or die,” nothing can stop him.
The mountain climber says, “I will climb the mountain. They’ve told me it’s too high, it’s too far, it’s too steep, it’s too rocky, it’s too difficult. But it’s my mountain. I will climb it. You’ll soon see me waving from the top or you’ll never see me, because unless I reach the peak, I’m not coming back.” Who can argue with such resolve?
When confronted with such iron-will determination, I can see Time, Fate and Circumstance calling a hasty conference and deciding, “We might as well let him have his dream. He’s said he’s going to get there or die trying.”
The best definition for “resolve” I’ve ever heard came from a schoolgirl in Foster City, California. As is my custom, I was lecturing about success to a group of bright kids at a junior high school. I asked, “Who can tell me what ‘resolve’ means?” Several hands went up, and I did get some pretty good definitions. But the last was the best. A shy girl from the back of the room got up and said with quiet intensity, “I think resolve means promising yourself you will never give up.” That’s it! That’s the best definition I’ve ever heard: PROMISE YOURSELF YOU’LL NEVER GIVE UP.
Think about it! How long should a baby try to learn how to walk? How long would you give the average baby before you say, “That’s it, you’ve had your chance”? You say that’s crazy? Of course it is. Any mother would say, “My baby is going to keep trying until he learns how to walk!” No wonder everyone walks.
There is a vital lesson in this. Ask yourself, “How long am I going to work to make my dreams come true?” I suggest you answer, “As long as it takes.” That’s what these four emotions are all about.
Friday, April 2, 2010
For most people, Keith Smart’s career is defined by The Shot.
But for Keith Smart, his career has been equally defined by a long-forgotten game that took place two seasons later — in front of only a few thousand people in a gym in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
It was during Smart’s rocky first year as a pro. He was drafted and cut by Don Nelson’s Golden State Warriors, picked up by the Spurs, then cut again after playing in only two games. When informing Smart of his release, Spurs Coach Larry Brown told him to continue polishing his skills in the CBA.
“He said ‘If there’s an injury, we’ll come back and get you,’” Smart recalls, sitting in his office atop the Warriors’ practice facility.
But Smart didn’t go to the CBA right away. Crushed, he stayed in San Antonio and holed up in his apartment, not working out and eating his way out of shape. After a month, he finally signed with a CBA team.
Just a few games into his CBA career, at that game in Cedar Rapids, he looked into the stands and saw a familiar face: Spurs assistant coach (and current Suns head coach) Alvin Gentry.
“I said, ‘Man, what are you doing here?’ He said, ‘I came to check you out.’ Larry held his word. He said he would come back to look at me, and he did.’”
With Johnny Dawkins injured, the Spurs needed an athletic combo guard – someone like Smart.
“I had just got there, I wasn’t in any kind of shape, and then all of a sudden, boom, it passed by,” he says. “I never got a chance to go back.”
Smart does little to hide his emotion when asked if he still thinks about that night. “Yeah,” he nods somberly. “It affects me big time.”
He would spend the better part of a decade chasing another Shot.
Read the entire article at: http://bit.ly/bxCoLm