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Roads Scholars: Playing Smarter On Their Turf

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you stay focused and heighten your performance. Reading time: 2:29.

         You just lost your home court advantage. Your client now wants to meet on their turf. And you’re frustrated. Now you won’t have as liberal access to subject-matter experts and top management to help you hold your client’s hand.

         Well hold on Sales Sensation! Your loss of venue could be your gain in revenue. You could make the sale even more effectively playing an “away” game.

       Chances are you’ll focus even harder on the client’s needs in much the same way a magnifying glass can narrow sunlight and broaden its capability to start a fire. That added focus could help you win that sale more productively and profitably in an “away” game.

          At least that’s how pro basketball super star scoring sensation Michael Jordan assessed the added focus required to win an “away” game. And he should know.

        Jordan’s  Chicago Bulls became the first team in National Basketball Association to win the first two games –away –en route  winning their third straight NBA Finals Championship against the Phoenix Suns in 1993.

        “On the road our focus is better because the odds are not in our favor,” said Jordan , whose Chicago Bulls won a total of three games on the road in Phoenix including the Championship Final. “We focus better whenever we have to face bad odds (on the road).”

                    Home court seemed to be no advantage to the Chicago Bulls in that championship series. Chicago lost two of its three home games during that six-game series, including one in triple overtime despite Jordan’s 55 point performance.  In fact Chicago needed to win three games on the road to capture the 1991 NBA Finals in five games against the Los Angeles Lakers.  Home may be just a bit too cozy and players get can a bit lazy. “Here (in Chicago) everything is in our favor and we’re too comfortable,” said Jordan.

       Be Careful Getting Too Comfortable

Michael Jordan shows his NBA leading scoring style

         Too comfortable. Maybe that’s why research shows that more mountain climbers are killed heading home : climbing DOWN the mountain. Their focus fades coming down. They get too comfortable. They quite literally let themselves go.

      So the lesson is clear: get out of comfort zone. Become a Road Warrior. Focus on  strengthening your performance through strategic, intentional, tailored and targeted initiatives.

       In focusing your performance, you become like the homeowner trying to leverage heating efficacy in the winter. You close off heating vents in certain rooms to focus more energy into a specific room.

       And with an even more refined focus the homeowner leverages heating resources. You funnel the same amount of heat into an even smaller more concentrated, more focused space.  You get smart. You play smarter not just harder. And you become a winning “Roads Scholar” –going away.

 Today’s ImproveMINT

Guard against being too comfortable to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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