“You must sacrifice, train, do everything possible to put yourself in a position to win. But if you consider second or third a failure, I feel sorry for you.”, said Joe Falcon.
Joe is a former US middle distance runner whose greatest success was his victory in the 1990 Oslo Dream Mile with a time of 3:49.31 minutes, which was the fastest mile in the world in 1990.
Being the best is not what is important. What is important is being the best that you can be!
You may not even be able to measure your goal against the whole world to know you are the best. But you can measure yourself against your effort and your work. You will know if you are the best you can be.
What can you do this week, to make you better? Make one more step towards being the best you can be.
Every once in awhile I feel defeated. Things don’t happen the way I want or the way I plan. This is especially defeating when you spend a lot of time, effort, and sweat on a project. Failure is a fact of life. We all face it. But you can make those failures temporary.
True failure only happens when you give up. Other failures can be turned into temporary set backs, or learning experiences. Take your new found knowledge of your project (what did not work), and start planning the next step. The step to success.
Great leaders share a trait. They are unwilling to accept defeat. They find a way to win. They take the resources and the situations given to them, and they find a way to keep going.
“Every action we take, everything we do, is either a victory or defeat in the struggle to become what we want to be.” said Anne Byrhhe. A leader will find the actions to take to move forward.
So when you have those dark days, practice reaching inside and pulling out the courage to continue on to success. Find the resources, find the time, find what you need to adjust and succeed.
List three things you wish your people did better than they currently do. Take a minute and a sheet of paper and capture the three things.
Improving the performance of your team can sometimes be accomplished by improving your performance. Reexamine the three areas you want your people to improve, and grade yourself on those three things. How are you doing? Use a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.
At what level would you like them to perform? Are your expectations higher than your own performance? If it is, then you need to focus on improving yourself. If it is not, then are you providing the proper mentoring and training for your team?
This simple exercise should help you define what action you need to take to drive your team’s performance. Write it down, and put it on your agenda! Improved performance will follow.
John Maxwell has said, “It’s easier to teach what’s right than to do what’s right.” So if we want to be a good example for those around us, we need to be as good as we think we are. Intentions alone do not set the example.
Setting an example also requires being visible, and interacting with people. If you are the best you can be, but working alone, then who are you an example for?
Those two thoughts deserve some reflection time. We would all like to be good, and set a good example. Review your activity in the last week. Have you had opportunities to be visible, and be engaged, and yet you choose actions that isolated you? Have you chosen actions that were easier, and maybe not shown how good you can be?
Colin Powell said, “You can issue all the memos and give all the motivational speeches you want, but if the rest of the people in your organization don’t see you putting forth your very best effort every single day, they won’t either.” People around you will only give their best if they see you giving your best.
What are you going to do the next week that reflects your best? What are you going to do to make those actions more visible to those around you?