Say you want to get on the path to success. Are ready to begin the journey, or, you are already on the journey and you don’t want to take a turn down the path to mediocrity. If you are a beginner you are unaware and ineffective. If you are an advanced player it never hurts to remain humble by continuing to tell yourself, “I don’t know what I don’t know” because the journey takes a lifetime. It isn’t accomplished in a day. It is accomplished DAILY. Remembering this is how you become perceived “Coachable.” Practicing this is what gives you a “student mentality.” This is what coaches like.
As you take the journey I want you to follow the graphic in this article. Unaware and ineffective people don’t know what they don’t know. But if you begin to “work your territory properly” you will begin to learn what you don’t know. You are still ineffective but you are becoming aware. As this awareness grows you will begin to feel yourself ramping up as a learner. As you gain traction you will grow and know and it will start to show. All those things you observe in your peers will start becoming yours. WIth observation, imitation and repetition you will simply go because of what you know. And when you attain that plateau … it’s time to start the process again. This is The Law of Process from John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. And if you apply yourself you can not fail.
Becoming this person is a lot like investing in the stock market. If your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you are not going to be successful. You have to be in it for the long haul. Leaders are learners. Leaders are readers. They don’t just come to practice today because it’s what they did yesterday and know it’s what they are going to do tomorrow. They do more. They spend more time making themselves better – in self improvement – so they can increase the likelihood of bringing others along with them as leaders. This way it’s never lonely at the top. There is an entire team coming along for the ride. This is what a team does. Can you imagine an entire team of 12 girls embarking on The Law of Process together? Awareness and Effectiveness multiply the impact of skill proficiency and game experience 100 fold. This is important since all of sport is three steps, 1) Observation, 2) Imitation, 3) Repetition. You observe something and you imitate it until you can repeat it . BUT NOW YOU HAVE BOTH THE PHYSICAL AND THE MENTAL ASPECTS OF THE GAME well in hand and certainly better than your rivals. You know what you are and you know where you are going which answers the question, “Why am I doing this?!”
Leadership experts Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus studied ninety top leaders from a variety of fields discovering relationships between GROWTH (development) and LEADERSHIP (success). It is the capacity and the desire to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from their followers.” Successful leaders are learners, and the learning process never ends, a result of self-discipline and perseverance. I know you’ve heard coaches talk about these things. The goal each day therefore must be to get a little better and build on the previous day’s progress.
“To be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts is a great step to knowledge,” said Benjamin Disraeli who also said “The secret of success in life is to be ready when your time comes.” Champions do not become champions on the court – they are merely recognized there. And if you want to see where you develop into a champion look at your daily routine. Former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier said, “You can map out a life plan or a fight plan. But when the action starts, you’re down to your reflexes. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, you’re getting found out now under the glare of the bright lights.” Boxing is a good analogy because development is all about preparation. Even if a person has natural talents and other gifts like smarts, hops, height, speed and agility, that person still has to prepare and train to be successful or quickly be found out under the glare of bright lights. You can’t fake it till you make it.
When MTV first aired, Martha Quinn, the girl next door and world’s first video VJ stuck a microphone into the face of Bon Jovi and asked, “How do you explain you’re overnight success?!” Pausing … thinking … and looking quizical he said, “Overnight success? We’ve slept on cold concrete floors for 13 years to get here.” Parting thought. No matter how much you learn from the past, it will never tell you all you need to know for the present. We can not become what we need by remaining what we are.
Many thanks to Hayley Hodson’s mom, Sonya Hodson for inspiring me to contribute this #foodforthought. Way to go Jimbo 🙂 (Feature photo picture credit: Penny Won Tstreet 15-Chris)