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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Becoming a Leader Worth Following

The most effective leaders are those who become the type of person that others willingly follow.

Most of us know the type of leader that we would be willing to follow—intuitively we are drawn to these type of people. We might not be able to give a detailed description, but we all know a true leader when we experience one.

Transformative leaders have a presence, they have an aura about them that embodies the principles they stand for and demonstrates the values they preach.

In assessing our own leadership the challenge is clear: How do I become the type of leader others are willing to follow?


Transformative leadership is only possible when a leader develops the necessary habits, dispositions, and mindset that allows their effectiveness to be unleashed.

 

Start with You

Great leadership is more caught than taught. Simply put, your habits, dispositions, and character are what define your leadership in the eyes of the people that follow you. For better or worse the team is going to take on the personality and habits of the leader.

Leaders have a huge responsibility then to become the type of people that they want the people in their organization to imitate.

Effective leadership always, “starts with you.”  As a leader if you want the people around you to be self-controlled, selfless, full of integrity and passionate about serving others then YOU have to embody those qualities on a daily basis.

Remember leadership is more caught than taught, which means that the people on your team are going to follow your example more than what you say. You need to look in the mirror and become the type of person for others that you are asking others to become for you!

 

Focus on Them

As leader’s become the right people for others, they will inevitably inspire those around them to become the people they were created to be. A relational approach to team-building and leadership should be the natural extension of any leader’s commitment to becoming a leader worth following.

No one follows someone they can’t relate to and no one follows a leader they don’t feel connected to. A core requirement in becoming a “leader worth following” implies that my growth as a leader is not a self-serving exercise, but is founded on the desire to help others reach their potential.

The effectiveness of your leadership is tied to how well you marry these two approaches—“Starting with You” and “Focusing on Them.” World champion coach Gregg Popovich offers insight into how he leads his players:

“I think relationship building helps them want to play for you, for the program, for their teammates. Beyond that from a totally selfish point of view, I think I get most of my satisfaction from that. Sure winning championships is great, but it fades quickly.”

Gregg Popovich

Leaders understand that a genuine concern for the people around them is the relational building blocks that every great team is built on. Popovich does this by making an effort to build a relationship with his players on and off the court: the entire scope of their lives becomes a matter of importance, not just how many points they can score or assists they can dish out.

When leaders show that they care, strong teams are built and lives are transformed.


We can all get started by growing into a leader worth following by developing two simple habits. Here are behaviors that manifest “starting with yourself” and “focusing on them.”

  1. Daily Nourishment

“Starting with you” begins with building a sound mind, body, and spirit every day.

Every day find a time, a place, and a resource—this could be anything from a book, podcast, sermon, or article—that feeds your mind and heart with the truths of transformational leadership. Write those three things down right now.

  1. Time
  2. Place
  3. Resource

 

  1. Relational Approach

Write down one person you want to connect with and build into as a leader this week. Invite them to lunch or schedule a phone call. Be intentional and focus

on building that relationship this week by showing interest in who they are as a person.

 

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A Case Study: Kobe Bryant’s Shooting Mindset

Shooting the basketball is a mentally challenging task. Why?

Because every time you miss a shot you feel like you’ve failed. We automatically make judgements about ourselves as shooters because shooting the ball is so black and white.  Either you make the shot and are successful or you miss the shot which means you are unsuccessful.

There is no middle ground. “Almost making a shot” doesn’t count for anything on the scoreboard. You don’t get half points for you shot going in and out, and in certain circumstances missing a shot might even get you put on the bench!

This constant stream of feedback can easily mess with your head. What do I mean by that?

 

I mean that when you shoot the ball you are getting messages sent to your brain that tell you that you are either a good shooter or a bad shooter depending on your performance.

In my experience some players are more naturally inclined to adopt a shooters mindset than others. Certain players are confident and self-assured while other players have to develop this confidence as they grow, mature, and work on their game – as a side note I definitely fall into this second camp, this is one of the biggest reasons why I wrote my E-Book on the exact steps I’ve taken to develop a shooters mindset.

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I believe that regardless of your natural inclination, if you put in the hard work you have the capacity to believe in your abilities as a basketball player. Some of the greatest shooters ever to play the game – ex. Reggie Miller, Kobe Bryant – were also some of the most confident players. But confidence doesn’t mean that you have to be arrogant. It simply means that you have a confidence that can’t be shaken by external circumstances.

Bryant in particular, embodies the kind of confidence that you need when you want to become a great shooter. He has a special mindset when it comes to shooting the basketball. Bryant’s ability to block out the negative and focus on the next shot is special. This can be a difficult exercise because many of us are hardwired to think more about our mistakes than our successes. Check out this quote from Bryant, when he heard that fellow NBAer Deron Williams admitted that he stopped shooting after he started out a game 0-9 from the field.

“I’d rather go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game…the only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.”

Obviously some players have the license from their coach to chuck up 30 shots and others don’t; Kobe Bryant is undoubtedly one of those players. The point is not the number of shots, but the ability to take the next one with confidence.

This philosophy of this mindset rings true for great shooters. For some players after they miss 1 shot in a game, they will hesitate to take the second one. The point is this: whether you are 0-5 or 10-10, great shooters should trust in their training and abilities to believe that no matter what has happened they will not become psyched out of the game.

Here are 4 specific ways that will help you develop a shooters mindset.


 

1. Set Difficult Goals and FINISH THEM!!!

This is all about your mindset when you walk into the gym:

For example I could go to workout with the goal of making 100 three-point shots or I could challenge myself to make 10 out of 13 shots behind the three at 10 spots, and each time I fail to make the goal I force myself to do 20 pushups. There are a million different ways to push your mental capacity as well as your body during workouts.

Don’t let yourself settle for mediocre. Strive for greatness in every workout and push yourself to grow mentally and physically every time you step foot in a gym. This is the key to growth, and this is the key to your shooting success.

The difference is that the second drill puts pressure on you and forces you to raise your level of focus and concentration. Here is a good drill I like to do that challenges me, its called “The Crucible”.

 

Goal: Beat the clock and force yourself to make shots when you’re fatigued

  • Make 2 shots at 5 spots in 1min and 45sec
  • Between each shot you have to run and touch half-court
  • Once you’ve made 2 shots in a spot you move to the next spot
  • A great drill to help you learn how to make shots when you’re tired
  • Shooters have to be mentally tough when they are fatigued 

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2. Give yourself positive reinforcement

As I talked about at the beginning, being a shooter is a tough job. I would know because I’ve been shooting the basketball for a living for the past 3 years as a pro overseas.

My tendency is to remember my mistakes and forget my makes, but great shooters dwell on their successes and dismiss their failures. They instill a confidence in themselves that comes from knowing that they’ve paid the price.

One exercise to boost your confidence (especially before a game) is to watch a clip-tape full of yourself making shots. Ask your coach or manager to help you make a highlight film of your made buckets. This visual reinforcement will fill your mind with positive images and remind you of what you are capable of.

 

3. Watch video clips of other great shooters

We can learn a lot by watching great shooters and how they approach the game. It’s funny. I’ll find that the days when I have my best shooting workouts are the days in which I’ve been hanging out on YouTube watching highlight tapes of some of my shooting heroes (Steph Curry, Kyle Korver, Wesley Matthews, Klay Thompson).

Watch a full game or highlight clips of your favourite shooter and see how they approach the game. Pay attention to their technique, demeanour, and reactions to both misses and makes. Steal little things from how they shoot the ball and incorporate it into your own game.

 

4. Create a “mindset” checklist

Write down your own mindset checklist with reminders of the things that you need to focus on when it comes to shooting the ball (I run through the exact process on how to do this in my book). Review this checklist before practices and games and start to engrain these principles into your psyche.

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Make your Shooting Checklist Now


 

Finally…

If you want to learn exactly how guys like Kobe Bryant have become legendary shooters, I’ve put together an E-Book that took me over a year to write. 

As I mentioned a few times the post, it is the culmination of what I’ve learned as a shooter over the last 3 years as a pro.

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Click Here to Discover the Secrets

I wouldn’t be selling this book if I didn’t 100% believe in what I’ve written. It has taken me nearly a full year to compile this material, because I wanted to share the exact mindset and techniques that have helped me raise my shooting percentage by 5% over the last several years.


I’ve Been Blessed to Have Been…

  • A 4 year Starter at a Division 1 College ProgramSBL Willetton vs Stirling & Goldfields - 11-7-14 & 12-7-14 - QMD
  • Won a Division 1 State Championship in High School
  • Be the leading scorer (30ppg) and 3 point shooter (45%) for two straight years playing professionally in Australia 
  • To have a career 40% three point shooter in College
  • To have played for great coaches and just finished my 3rd year as a pro
  • To have spent hundreds of hours training and coaching other players

The reason I started Arete Hoops was so I could help coaches and players grow in their leadership, influence, character, and discipline. 

And this E-Book is by far the best material I’ve ever come across on how to improve both the mental side of shooting while giving you practical steps to make improvement. I hope it serves you.

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