Regular readers of this column know I follow several podcasts, and see opportunities for messages after listening to a podcast. A recent podcast was with a basketball player by the name of Chris Bosh. Chris was an eleven-time all-star, two-time NBA champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and an ambassador for the league. He also had his playing days cut short due to an unforeseen medical condition. After his playing days, he wrote a book titled “Letters to a Young Athlete.” Bosh regularly speaks to youth about the benefits of reading, computer coding, and leadership. He made no mention of the intricacies of basketball. He sees that reading, computer coding, and leadership are important to success both during and after his playing days. I make the comparison that reading and leadership are also important for success in business, and in life.
Bosh credits his early youth coaches who pointedly asked, “what do you want to do?” Bosh makes it clear that money and fame are not the correct answer. He challenges the reader to think bigger. That message is true for all who think about their business and/or their performance at work. He cites examples of fellow players looking to perform at a minimum. He takes advantage of those who want to do just the minimum. One must subject oneself to tireless preparation, even if credit goes to others. Bosh was on a team with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. After he resigned himself to a support role, the team won national championships.
Always a reader, a new coach once handed him a book titled “Outliers.” Bosh had the satisfaction of telling the coach that he had already read the book. By being a reader, and having read Malcom Gladwell’s recent book, Bosh understood the importance of the factors that contribute to success.
For those in business, one must know what the factors that contribute to success are. When I was in the corporate world, we had matrices that would analyze a number of issues. Each was important to itself. In combination with all the other factors, one could best analyze where there might be issues that need correction. Business people know this, and Bosh reminds us that the development of understanding the issues, and improving the issues does not come easy and takes time. Those who desire a quick fix and do the minimum will not address root issues while helping prepare for success. Bosh reminds the reader that one must do the work. Whether it is rebounding in basketball, or following up with a happy, or unhappy customer to be successful, one must do the work.
“Not everyone can accept the sacrifice necessary to achieve it (success).” Bosh cites a successful basketball coach in John Wooden who said, “Winning takes talent. To repeat takes character.” What is your character? Do you do above the minimum?
For those of us in business, and studying human performance, our focus must be on repeating the win to best serve our customers.