In Communication, Leadership, Wednesday Wisdom

Here are some of my current favorites:

10-Minute Toughness by Jason Selk

My favorite passage:

Three Levels of Goals

The 10-Minute Toughness mental work out is optimized when athletes know how to set effective goals for themselves. The three levels, or types, of goals that I discussed with clients are ultimate goals, product goals and process goals (the latter two were previewed an Introduction). The work an athlete does to meet these three levels of goals unlocks hidden potential, increases motivation, creates pinpoint focus, and re-energizes training and competition.

Ultimate goals. Ultimate goals are the culmination of what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. When identifying your ultimate goals, imagine being able to look into the future and witness your retirement dinner. What accomplishments do you want to hang on the wall, and what would you like the speaker to say about you regarding how you played the game and how you conduct yourself?

Product goals. Product goals are result-oriented goals. They are clearly measurable and usually are most effective if they emphasize accomplishments in the next twelve months. I have found that the best formula is to assign yourself up to three product goals for the next competitive season in which you will participate and, again, up to three product goals for the upcoming off-season. For example, a basketball player may have the following three product goals for the season:
1. Score at least 10 points per game
2. Have a free-throw percentage of 80 percent or better
3. Grab at least six rebounds every game

Process goals. Process goals are the “what it takes“ to achieve the product goals you set. Process goals also must be specific enough to be measurable. For example, the same basketball player may believe that two of the best ways for her to score ten points per game are by being mentally prepared for each game and by aggressively driving to the hoop (within five feet) at least four times per game. “Being mentally prepared“ is tricky to measure; however, the basketball player could substitute, “I want to complete my mental work out every day prior to practices and games.“ Doing the mental workouts consistently will certainly contribute to her being mentally prepared. Each completed mental work out is a valid measure of mental preparedness. Similarly, by defining the aggressive drive to the hoop as a drive that gets her within five feet of the basket, she makes the goal readily measurable.


Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

My favorite passage:

During every ninety-minute soccer game there are a few magical moments when the ball actually hits the back of the net and a goal is scored. When this happens, it means that everything has come together perfectly—the perfect pass, the perfectly timed run, every player in the precise place at exactly the right time—culminating in a moment in which one player scores that goal.

What happens next on the field is what transforms a group of individual women into one team. The bench erupts. Teammates from all over the field rush toward the goal scorer. There are high fives, chest bumps, dances, hugs, and a spontaneous celebratory huddle that disperses as quickly as it began.

It might appear to the crowd that the team is celebrating the goal scorer, but with the team is really celebrating is every player, every coach, every practice, every sprint, every doubt, and every failure that this one single goal represents.

Sometimes you will make a sixty-yard sprint only to watch another woman score the big goal. Sometimes it was your tackle, your run, your heart, and your sweat that made that goal possible.

You will not always be the goal scorer. When you are not, you better be rushing toward her.

Sometimes you will be the goal scorer.

I was that goal scorer 184 times during my international career.

If you watch footage of any of those goals, you will see that the moment after I score I begin to point.

I point to the teammate who assisted.

I point to the defender who protected us.

I point to the midfielder who ran tirelessly.

I point to the coach who dreamed up this play.

I point to the bench player who willed this moment into existence.

I’ve never scored a goal in my life without getting a pass from someone else.

Every goal I’ve ever scored belongs to my entire team.

When you score you better start pointing.


No Ego by Cy Wakeman

My favorite passage:

Engagement is a choice, not something a leader can do for others. Worse, the philosophy embedded in most engagement strategies is flawed in three dangerous ways. Typical employee engagement thinking holds these (un)truths to be self-evident:

1. Every employee opinion is equally credible.
2. Leaders must create the perfect environment for employees to give the “gift” of their work.
3. Engagement is the magic key to drive great results.

It is clear to me that we over-rotated on engagement. To be effective, engagement has to be married to accountability. Without a strong foundation of accountability, energy spent on creating engagement will backfire and create entitlement.

This point bears repeating: engagement without accountability creates entitlement.

The philosophy of “perfecting the environment” to create employee engagement just feeds the ego and generates huge amount of drama and emotional waste. We can’t make other people happy, and this statement is backed up by plenty of scientific research. Happiness is a choice, and it’s correlated to accountability. Engagement comes from the accountability individuals accept in the accumulated choices they make in the circumstances they face.


What’s on the top of your book pile?





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