“Competitive Greatness is being your best when your best is needed.”John Wooden
Coach Wooden’s philosophy was to focus entirely on the individual becoming their absolute best; winning was the result of being your absolute best. If the score of the game was not in your favor but you did your best, then you lost the game but won the battle.
The men and women who have been and are our leaders today – the ones who “get it” can be easily identified; the following are characteristics I have identified that define them and their organizations. Duplicate these values in your life and organization with consistent discipline and then allow enough time to be added to the equation and you too can achieve great things.
These leaders and organizations know where they are going and the purpose is more than getting rich. Money never creates a purpose but it can be the result of doing the right things for the right purpose. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal. The worthy goal has to be your purpose and your “why” or better defined, your passion has to be greater than what can be defined by words.
I am reminded of the story of two little boys – 8 and 9 years old – that were playing one winter day on a pond that had iced over. Suddenly the ice broke and the 8 year old fell through into the dark water and the ice patch actually slipped right back into place just like shutting a door. With nobody around to help, the 9 year old, desperate to save his friend, ran to the closest tree and tore off a limb and ran to the ice break. He began to beat on the ice breaking open a four foot hole and then was able to reach down and grab his friend by the back of his coat and pull him to safety. As the crowd began to gather over the next few minutes and the boy was stabilizing, people began to notice the thickness of the tree limb, almost four inches wide and not dead, and the thickness of the ice. In unison they began to comment about how it is not possible that the little 9 year old was able to accomplish what he did; then suddenly, an elderly gentleman from the back spoke up and said “he accomplished what he did because nobody was present to tell him it was impossible.” That is purpose driven.
Leaders who have realistic and clear expectations for themselves and those they lead develop organizations that accomplish great tasks. These organizations seem to just get things done that other groups consistently fall short in accomplishing.
One of the best comments I have ever heard is: “the view is a lot clearer when standing on top of the books you have read.” One cannot stop learning. All the knowledge in the world has been written, most of it many times over. If you are reading this article you are investing into your future success. We must learn from each other and from those who have gone before us; history will always repeat itself if we do not. The reason generations advance is from the knowledge passed along by the prior generations.
The ability to accomplish the little things daily. It is the accumulations of the little things that make great things happen. Most people see the event and want to repeat that same success that they have witnessed in the event. Not realizing the countless number of hours it has taken in practice, the defeats that have been suffered through and the discipline to persevere in order to make the event possible. Life and business is a process not an event and in order to accomplish great goals one must possess the discipline for the fundamentals that will make the event successful.
Hold a vision despite distractions. Distractions become visible when our eyes come off the target. One of the biggest issues that we have as a country today is that we have no vision for our future – what is our target, our goal? When politics and personal agendas begin to cloud the vision and we forget our heritage, distractions become apparent and everyone loses their course and direction. This is true for every community, organization, business and family.