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You and Your Team Become More Efficient, Effective and Successful
You and Your Team Become More Efficient, Effective and Successful
Success Is Like An Iceberg
April 10, 2014
Malcom Gladwell wrote about the 10,000 hours it takes in order to achieve "expert" status in an activity. This commitment and work effort is critically important as you strive to develop a strong foundation for your endeavors. Without this foundation, a person wouldn't be able to achieve at an expert level and they would end up being average to above average at what they do.
However, when someone is an expert at what they do, most people don't see the effort and commitment that went into creating their success. Take the Beatles for example. They came together as a musical group in 1960 and recorded 213 songs before they . . . (More)
Working Hard - You Have Two Choices
March 27, 2014
Thirty-one years ago Jim Valvano and his North Carolina State Wolfpack team won the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship beating the Houston Cougars in Albuquerque, NM. We still see the final seconds replayed several times each year. After a missed free throw by Houston, the Wolfpack rebounded the ball and advanced it into frontcourt before calling a timeout with 44 seconds remaining in a tie game.
Coming out of the timeout, the underdog Wolfpack decided to play for one last shot. This was before the shot clock was introduced into the game. The Wolfpack spread the court and played keep-away. The Cougars responded by becoming extremely aggressive and trapping the ball. Several passes were nearly picked off, but with 7 seconds remaining, a long pass forced Dereck Whittenburg to catch the ball 35 feet from the basket. He caught the ball with 4 seconds left and shot a desperation jumper that drew nothing but air. Lorenzo Charles, however, was under the basket, caught the errant shot and dunked the ball for the game-winning basket. Jim Valvano rushed the court looking for someone to hug. The excitement of . . . (More)
Perfect Practice Leads to Expert Performance
March 13, 2014
As a young basketball coach in the 1990's one of my philosophies was to teach the basic fundamental skills of the game. I studied John Wooden and saw how he was a real stickler to performing the basic skills correctly every time. When a player didn't perform the skills correctly, he would stop practice, correct the young man and continue on. This technique aligned with the teachings of Vince Lombardi, the great football coach of the Green Bay Packers, who believed that practice does not make perfect, rather perfect practice makes perfect.
In reviewing the research on skill development, you can see why perfect practice is the key to effective execution and being successful with your activities. Skill development advances through three stages beginning with an introduction to the skill. As you practice your skill, it improves and eventually becomes automated. This is similar to tying your shoelaces or shooting a basketball. At. one point in time, you weren't able to tie your shoelaces. . . (More)
Playing To Win
February 28, 2014
My heart broke for the members of the U.S.A. Women's Olympic Hockey Team last week in their quest for gold against Canada. I was impressed with the way the U.S. came out at the beginning of the game and dominated right from the start. I was equally impressed with the Canadian goalie. Shot after shot after shot was blocked, deflected, and denied. With this barrage of shots, you knew it was only a matter of time until Team U.S.A. scored.
Sure enough, not long into the period the U.S. scored their first goal, followed by a second goal a little bit later. The U.S.A. women looked unbeatable. But Canada was not going to be denied. The offensive barrage of shots and the offensive pressure we saw from the U.S. team at the beginning of the contest was now how the Canadian's were playing late in the game. Shot after shot after shot, the Canadian women were now on the offensive. It looked as if the teams had switched uniforms at the break. And then the unthinkable, the Canadians scored with 3 ½ minutes remaining in the game. This gave them life, hope, and motivation. They knew they had a chance to win. You could just feel the momentum shifting. . . (More)
The Fallacy of Accomplishing More Through Multitasking
February 21, 2014
We have all heard the argument – “but I get more accomplished when I multitask”. The fact is multitasking doesn’t lead to accomplishing more; it leads to making mistakes and creating errors. Think about driving and texting. Ninety percent of the time you’ll arrive at your destination, but along the way you swerve, miss your exit, and drive several minutes without complete focus on the road. And that 10% can have deadly consequences. This same inattention is what happens when you multitask in two or more activities at the same time. This could be doing homework while talking on the telephone, writing an e-mail while watching television, or any other combination of multiple activities.
Dr. David Meyer, a cognitive psychologist and the Director of Brain, Cognition, and the Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan, believes that multitasking is a myth. He is an expert in brain science and multitasking. He explains that . . . (More)
Positive Leadership Enhances Execution
February 12, 2014
Leadership is about influencing others toward achieving a particular goal or vision. Throughout the years, several different styles or approaches of leadership have shown to be effective. But recently, one leadership style has stood out as an extremely effective approach. Researchers are showing that great results and happy employees are the outcomes of Positive Leadership.
Positive Leadership is an outgrowth of positive psychology, which is a relatively new science of human performance. Coined by Martin Seligman in 1998, Positive Psychology focuses on factors that drive greatness in people and help them to perform their best.
According to Tom Rath, the author of How Full Is Your Bucket, the goal of a positive leader is to deliberately increase the positive emotions amongst their team and their organization. The outcome of this positive environment is more than just improved morale; it leads to. . . (More)
The Challenges of Executing Against the Seahawks’ 12th Man
January 23, 2014
In competitive sports, playing games on your own turf gives you a big advantage. The players from the home team get to sleep in their own bed, they don’t have the added fatigue from travel, they are able to keep their routines, and they have the familiarity of the facilities. While these factors are definitely an advantage for the home team, many times the visiting team can overcome them. However, the one factor that is difficult to overcome is the noise and rowdiness of a raucous crowd.
A game-savvy crowd knows to make noise when the opponent has the ball and to be quiet when the home team has the ball. A noisy crowd can disrupt the concentration, communication, and timing of a team. And it’s a lack of this concentration and timing that can lead to mistakes.
In Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49er’s and the Seahawks, it was mistakes. . . (More)
Strong Customer Loyalty Begins With Proper Execution
January 16, 2014
Are your employees engaged with your customers? It amazes me how often we enter businesses and the employees don’t even acknowledge the customers. You’ve seen it before. You walk up to the register at the local convenience store and the employee is mentally somewhere else. There’s no “hello, how are you”, or “thank you”, just awkward silence. As the owner or manager of the store, the success of your business is dependent upon building a positive relationship with your customers.
This doesn’t just happen at convenience stores, it happens in restaurants where servers are going through the motions, athletic venues where customers are purchasing tickets, department stores where the employees are more into visiting with friends, and the list goes on. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Some businesses are focused on providing excellent customer service. They welcome you, they engage you in conversation, they ask if you found everything you need, and they thank you. These employees are upbeat and engaging. They want to make sure you have a positive experience so you will continue to support their business. In turn, they are building loyal customers. . . (More)
Executing - One Play at a Time
January 9, 2014
The college football bowl season just wrapped up with a dandy of a championship game. Florida State trailed the Auburn Tigers for the majority of the game until Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds remaining to win the game 34-31.
Trailing 21-10 at halftime, Florida State was being dominated by the Tigers. During the halftime show on ESPN, Alabama Head Football Coach, Nick Saban was asked how Florida State could come back and win the game. Without skipping a beat, Saban eloquently stated that a team gets back into the game "one play at a time."
Whether you're a sports coach, an athletic administrator, or a business leader, you will be more successful in executing your activity. . . (More)
Setting a New Year's Resolution That Sticks
January 2, 2014
Happy New Year! I hope 2014 is your best year ever. When you think of New Years, are you one of the 45% of Americans who will make a New Year's resolution? Researchers estimate that each year approximately 150 million Americans set resolutions for the upcoming year. A new year seems like the perfect time to start a personal improvement program because with a new year comes a new beginning. However, of these millions of people who have established a resolution, only 8% will be successful in achieving their goal. This seems like a depressing number, but what if you could establish a resolution that you could really achieve? What would it take to achieve your new goal? The following are five strategies and behaviors that can assist you so you can achieve your New Year's resolution.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
December 19, 2013
Just before Thanksgiving I attended a regional meeting of the National Speakers Association in Salt Lake City. The topic they were discussing at their monthly meeting was on “How to Monetize Your Message”. I’m not a member of the group because I live over five hours away, but this topic really caught my attention so I decided to make the trek and be their guest for a day.
I found the meeting so energizing and the enthusiasm of the three professional speakers contagious. One of the speakers in particular caught my attention, and four weeks later I’m still re-playing his message over and over in my head. Ty Bennett is a professional speaker by trade and is the NSA chapter’s president. I was mesmerized by all three speakers but Ty made a 10 second comment that has stayed with me ever since. He encouraged . . . (More)
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