From the 1970s to the early 2000s, the men's tennis team at Stanford University won a remarkable 17 national championships in a 36-year span. When I asked my friend and coaching colleague John Whitlinger how they did it, he replied, "We simply get a little bit better each day." As a former athlete and coach, I learned early-on that true success is the result of small wins produced over time. The people that fail, in sports, business, and in life are the ones who constantly attempt to short-circuit the process. Surprisingly, many high achievers are prone to the following misconceptions, focusing upon:
- Instant gratification
- Overnight perfection and
- Doing too much too fast
By setting unrealistic expectations regarding our performance and results, too many of us get in our own way. Yes or yes?
The following twelve questions will help you and your team identify what you want to work on and create a srategy for achieving your goal.
- What do we want to improve?
- What steps do we need to take to achieve this improvement?
- How can we make this better?
- How can we serve our customers better?
- How can we provide more value to more people?
- How can we do it more efficiently?
- How can we do it more profitably?
- Are we attempting to do too much too fast?
- What's one simple step we can take in the next 24 hours?
- What new skills can we develop?
- Have we skipped any steps?
- Are we thinking big enough or are we short-changing ourselves?
At the end of the day, personal and professional success belongs to those who start with a specific plan, then exert the daily self-discipline to finish. Game over.
By Rene' Vidal, A six-time NCAA championship coach, René Vidal is president of S-Curve Coaching Institute, a leadership development boutique for top performers, teams, and organizations. Vidal also serves as co-author of Play Smart to Win in Business: Leadership Lessons from Center Court to Corner Office (June, 2015).