The World Cup for Soccer is played every four years. Germany was crowned the 2014 World Cup Soccer Champion in Brazil. During the journey to the championship, the USA verses Belgium match was one that inspired the world. As I watched the match, I saw Tim Howard, USA Goal Keeper, apply four leadership principles to rally his team. Tim Howard, American Goalie, faced a never-ending Belgium onslaught for 120 minutes. Howard tallied an amazing 16 saves, the most in World Cup history.
In our lives and in our careers we all have managers, coaches, and mentors. Our goal should be to surround ourselves with believers. It was 1943. There was a color barrier in baseball. Branch Rickey did not believe in color. He believed in talents and skills that would produce a winning result. That was his focus with Jackie Robinson. In 1943, Rickey got approval from the Dodgers Board of Directors to begin the search for "the right man".
Challenges arise in business and life. Many times these challenges create roadblocks. Roadblocks impede progression. Last week I heard an awesome business leader, Paul Anderson, speak on 6 steps to eliminate roadblocks. Step one is to identify the root cause. It's important that everyone involved with the roadblock help to identify the root cause. It might help if you answer this simple sentence, "The roadblock is being created by (insert root cause)."
The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across an image that outlined ten things successful people do that unsuccessful people don't. I really liked the list and I thought you might also. Successful people compliment others while unsuccessful people criticize others. Successful people forgive others while unsuccessful people hold grudges. Successful people embrace change while unsuccessful people fear change.
I'm a big fan of the Olympics and the amazing stories that emerge. Each Olympic story teaches lessons we can apply to life and business. Whether it's an individual or team event, the training culture of each Olympic athlete has a big impact on their success. During the 2012 Olympics, there was a tight race for gold between the USA and Russia for the women's gymnastic team competition. As I watched the drama of the event unfold, I heard the announcer discuss the training cultures of the two teams.
I'll start with one question about your business work day, "How many hours do you work uninterrupted? When I mean uninterrupted, I am not just talking about people that stop by your office or desk looking to chat, collaborate, or just ask an important question. There are other distractions or productivity killers that can cause each of us to lose our productivity, distract us, drain our energy, and make us feel like we're running around in circles. Here are seven ways to increase your personal producitivty.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to listen to six time Olympic medalist and champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Jackie kicked off the opening National Athletic Institute Speed Camp. I grew up watching and cheering on Jackie. She is a true champion with a story that inspires each of us to believe anything is possible. Greatness is possible for each of us, we just need to be willing to set realistic goals, work hard to achieve them, and face discouraging times with a smile. Jackie teaches us that in life, business, and sports you have to position yourself to win.
Learn two important success factors of great leaders. I believe success in life and business are influenced by persistence and determination. It's always the last 10 yards that are the hardest. It's always the extra effort that helps you discover your real potential. It's the storm before the calm that makes the sunshine meaningful. It's moving forward when others doubt you that you'll find success. It's always finishing, no matter what, that makes the great champions. So many people come so close only to lose the prize because of the lack of persistence and determination.