"Imagine if you will being on your death bed, and standing around your bed the ghosts of the dreams, the ideas, the abilities, the talents given to you by life and that you, for whatever reason, you never went after that dream. You never acted on those ideas. You never used those talents. You never used those gifts. And there they are standing around your bed, looking at you with large angry eyes saying we came to you! And ONLY YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN US LIFE! And NOW we must die with you forever!"
16 Characteristics of a Champion
1. Hating to lose more than loving to win: They develop this mind-set by making no excuses when things don’t go their way.
2. Appreciating the value of association: They understand the importance of their inner circle.
3. Placing faith in a higher power: They have the perspective on life. Which is driven by an understanding of something bigger than themselves.
4. Having contagious enthusiasm: Their attitudes are infectious. And they want theirs to be caught by others.
5. Preparing for all possibilities: They are ready before the game begins.
6. Having no off-season: They understand they are always working toward the next game. And there is always a game ahead.
7. Visualizing victory: They can see what success looks like before the opening whistle.
8. Using Adversity as fuel: The tough moments of their lives become an inner fire.
9. Being a responsible risk-taker: The great ones understand that most great things occur outside of your comfort zone.
10. Knowing how and when to make adjustments: What got you there won’t keep you there.
11. Becoming the ultimate teammate: They understand that even if they are the best on their team. They may have to take a different role for the team to be successful.
12. Being motivated by more than money: They know that if your driver is cash, you won’t drive long.
13. Doing right by others: The great ones know that character is defined by how they treat others, without expecting anything in return.
14. Living with integrity: When no one is watching, they live their lives with integrity.
15. Being a role model: When everyone is watching, they set the standard for those who look up to them.
16. Creating a well-rounded legacy: They understand they are not defined by their statistics or accomplishments.
Excerpt from: "What Makes the Great Ones Great" by Don Yaeger
To this list we would add, "17. They had a dream and, at all costs, they made it happen."
If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. At first glance, that seems far too simplistic in light of the problems that face our world, the constant struggles that overwhelm and hold back even the strongest of souls. But, I get it. How could one person affect the masses? How could one act of kindness reverberate to more than the person or family directly affected? How can we possibly expect more from ourselves and our companies than what we already commit to others?
The better question perhaps is how can we not expect more from ourselves than the same business model and social inequality that has persisted for the last century? How can we not further our commitment when we see 46 million Americans living in poverty? How can we let poverty affect 1 in 6 Americans and allow ourselves to define people as undesirable, unemployable, and forgotten? How can we fail to continue to toss in the pebbles given the ripple we see in our communities when we do so? How can we not see that "social justice and business success are two sides of the same coin"? When did we allow people to become a commodity while at the same time worshiping the epitome of servant leadership, the man who washed the feet of his disciples?
"There is no better life than one lead to help others succeed."
For more on Greyston Bakery and their open hiring policy, see www.greyston.com.
Yes, I know we've all heard it before, but it doesn't take too many years of "real life" to fully understand our personal reality is little more than a conglomeration of various individual perceptions of events, the impact they either have or we project they will have on our lives, and our response to these perceptions that drive our beliefs, our actions, and our attitudes. We blame our failures on others, we attribute our success to ourselves, we find fault with others when they fail, and we are hesitant to give credit when someone succeeds - self-serving in all regards until we are eventually confronted with the undeniable reality others face, the obstacles they have overcome, and the strength with which they continue to push. An event has occurred that effectively shifts our reality through the irrefutable knowledge/perception that we have only halfheartedly pushed ourselves within the self-created reality we have so comfortably insulated ourselves within.
In walks Sean Stephenson...
1. Never believe a prediction that doesn't empower you (or your organization). If you do, you will either physically, emotionally, or spiritually die.
2. You are not your condition (or the condition you may find your business in while experiencing setbacks). The only disability is our refusal to adapt.
3. Choose to live with strength!
4. Love all human beings no matter what, because deep down all human beings just want to be loved.
5. Neither pity yourself nor beat yourself up. Move out of your head and into your heart. When you love yourself, you have the freedom to be free.
The parallels we may draw are endless…. Instead of paraphrasing or adding my take to his story, I will simply allow Father Boyle share his beautiful message. Enjoy.
The problem in the world is that we’ve just forgotten that we belong to one another.” Mother Teresa