Whether you're a chess master, a ping-pong player, a guitar picker, or just a run-of-the-mill businessman, rule number one of winning remains the same: Surround yourself with people who are wiser, more accomplished, and just plain smarter than you are.
I've tried to do that consistently over my coaching career, and I've been richly rewarded for it. I've worked with some of the best coaches, adminstrators, and leaders our region has to offer. And I like to think that a little bit of their wisdom and knowledge has rubbed off. So this month, in honor of the 2010-2011 season, I thought I'd try to distill some of what these people have taught me into tasty shots of wisdom. Here is what the winners I've met all seem to know.
Winners know what they don't know. This might sound like a contradiction, but if you know what you don't know, you can go out and learn it. Real ignorance is not a lack of knowledge or education, but a lack of curiosity. The moment you think you know everything, you're doomed. Before you make any big move, always ask yourself, What don't I know about what I'm getting into? Then go find it.
Winners know how to hire winners. As I said above surrounding yourself with highly accomplished co-workers is the best way to become highly accomplished yourself. Unfortunately, when it comes to hiring assistants, many coaches feel threatened by smart candidates and tend to want a supporting cast of people who won't question their choices or challenge their decisions.
Winners know there is always something new to win at. Whether you're Coach of Year, or Athletic Director of the Year, you're bound to be at the top of your game for only a few years before times change. Today's victories soon fade into the glory of days gone by. Winners focus on tomorrow's challenges.
Winners know how to dive in. Life isn't a distance event; its a series of sprints. And most sprints are won at the moment the gun goes off. Many of us spend our time worrying about failure. Winners don't care about failure, because they know that in no time they'll be diving into their next chance for success.
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