The Single Decision

Each day, there is one single decision that stares each of us in the face. The decision that lies before each of us is the question of excellence. The question of excellence can not be broken down into component parts. It can not be divided into sub-goals or part-time aspirations. Rather, the single decision we all have to make is whether we have the courage, conviction, and toughness to walk the path of excellence.

I want to encourage each of you to make the decision TODAY that will help you stay the course tomorrow (or next week, next month, or next year!) when you come across a difficult part in your journey. Once the decision is made, there is no turning back. Once the decision is made you will have no choice but to continue pushing through the frustration and obstacles that stand in your way.

Here’s what the former Men’s National Gymnastics team Coach had to say about the single decision that we are all faced with (excerpt from Tim Ferris’ Book, Tools of Titans):

Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something that every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations timewise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process. The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home. A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge. Refuse to compromise. And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end. Certainly celebrate the moments of triumph when they occur. More importantly, learn from defeats when they happen. In fact, if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough. And absolutely refuse to accept less than your best. Throw out a timeline. It will take what it takes. If the commitment is to a long-term goal and not to a series of smaller intermediate goals, then only one decision needs to be made and adhered to. Clear, simple, straightforward. Much easier to maintain than having to make small decision after small decision to stay the course when dealing with each step along the way. This provides far too many opportunities to inadvertently drift from your chosen goal. The single decision is one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox.

Christopher Sommer (Tools of Titans)

Make your decision today!

 

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How to Measure Your Leadership

 

The success of the indispensable leader is not measured in the number of units produced but by the number of people they can inspire. One of the clearest metrics by which great leaders can be judged, is to the extent that their teams work with passion, conviction, and purpose.

 We are all longing for authentic leadership that invites us into a culture created around something more important than personal accomplishment. The indispensable leader is the conduit through which their followers are able to join that kind of a culture.

Indispensable leaders understand that the effectiveness of their leadership is dependent on how well they serve, love , and inspire those around them to greatness.

Leaders, differentiate yourself by how well you serve, how deeply you love, and much you inspire. Make a difference not by how many games you win, but by how many lives you impact.

Indispensable leadership starts with a commitment to helping others succeed. Define your leadership by a different set of metrics, a new kind of data. 

Don’t settle for average, never settle for “just good enough”, instead, strive for indispensable. Dig a little deeper, train a little bit harder, care a little bit more and watch the people around you rise to greatness.


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What Makes You an Indispensable Leader

The modern economy is moving away from people to act like machines and towards people who can add a different kind of value. The blue-collar jobs on factory floors are slowly disappearing as technology encroaches on an economic model of years past.

The new economy demands authenticity because people can smell inauthentic leadership a thousand miles away. We are starving for original thinkers and artists who can cultivate an experience that wows and inspires us.

The leadership of the future will no longer be measured in the number of units produced but by the number of people you can inspire. Indispensable leaders are the ones who creativity overwhelms their sense of duty; who are able to problem solve in a world that spits out new challenges minute by minute.

Only you can make yourself indispensable. Only you can push yourself to explore the nuances of your craft when most people settle for being mediocre. Only you can push past your perceived limits. A mediocre leader simply completes the task assigned to them, but an indispensable leader  pushes past the boundary of average and into the realm of possibility.

Don’t settle for average, rather, strive for indispensable. Dig a little deeper, train a little bit harder, care a little bit more and watch the people around you rise to greatness. 

Start exploring, start creating, start making yourself indispensable today.


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How “Process Praise” Makes You More Resilient

 

Psychologist Angela Duckworth and her research team did a series of experiments in which they observed and measured how different types of praise had a positive or negative effect on a child’s motivation and resilience in tackling difficult challenges. What they found was that the children who received “process praise” (i.e. praising the things within the child’s control: hard work, perseverance, diligence, strategies, focus, etc) were more likely to develop a resilient approach towards difficult challenges later in life.

In one study they evaluated the type of praise mothers gave their young children. Duckworth then followed those children’s progress and checked in with them five years later. They found that the type of praise children were given as toddlers had a huge impact on their attitude towards facing challenges later on in life. The children who received process praise when they were young were more motivated learners and ended up doing better in math and reading compared to their peers who were praised for their talent or innate abilities.

As coaches and teachers, the principle of process praise is powerful as we try to help our team’s develop a toughness that will enable them to deal with the inevitable challenges of life. When we make it clear to our teams that a commitment to the process is the only key to success, we are giving them the tools to be successful both on the court and in life. By praising the process we are implicitly preaching the gospel of hard work, diligence, and focus as the antidote to the challenges that we all face.

Begin today to help your team develop the mental toughness it needs to push through the ups and downs both on the basketball court and in life. Praise the process and watch your team attack the challenges in front of them with tenacity!

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Success is Sequential

“It takes 20 years to make an overnight success” (Eddie Cantor)

The path to extraordinary achievement is always sequential because greatness never happens by accident. The idea of someone who is an “overnight success” is a myth because all success is the byproduct your daily habits. Success is a series of dominos that gain momentum as our daily work creates the necessary force to move us from where we are to where we are to where we want to be.

Our habits and daily commitments are the fuel that drive us towards extraordinary results. Success happens when we learn to take care of the “now” so that we can find success in the future. Extraordinary results require an uncommon committent to the daily process of working towards a singular goal. When we make that commitment to take steps towards a unified vision of the future we will be surprised at how quickly we reach our destination.

The biggest dominos in your life will never get knocked down unless you first make the commitment to push the smallest dominos first. Knocking down the small dominos requires a persistent determination to your daily habits, that over time will lead to extraordinary results.

Remember, that all success is sequential. The road to meaningful accomplishment starts today. Start by knocking down the smallest dominos first and you’ll be surprised how quickly you end up where you want to be.

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