Here’s an idea to help you smile in the face of immediate adversity. Reading time 2:55.
You got off on the wrong foot. You stumbled out of the block. Now you’re sure your project is doomed.
Well cheer up! The most effective leaders battle back from tough starts. They stub their toe and get back up and go. Consider that:
PABLO PICASSO was born dead. His uncle –a physician- tried an innovative approach (breathing cigar smoke into the baby’s nostrils to shock the newborn’s lungs) and revived him. Picasso, the 20th century’s most innovative artist, turned a tough start into spectacular show over his lifetime.
So did the following six sports legends.
JACK NICKLAUS, the greatest professional golfer of all time, took his first swing as a professional golfer and drowned his golf ball. He hit his drive into the water. From that pro exhibition match in Miami, Nicklaus went on to win a record 18 major tournaments including six Masters Championships, five PGA Championships, four US Opens and three British Opens. That’s two more than the combined total of Arnold Palmer (7) and Gary Player (9) and three times as many as Lee Trevino (6). Tiger Woods (14) needs five more major victories to unseat Nicklaus.
LOU GEHRIG struck out in his first at bat in the major leagues—on three straight pitches. Yet Gehrig went on to set 45 major league baseball records, including a then-record 2,130 starts over a 14-year span. Continue reading “Stub your Toe? Get Up ‘n Go”→
Here’s an idea to add discipline to your decision-making process. Reading time: 2:57.
Still looking for that magic wand to make your next project an overwhelming success? Look no further. It’s right in front of you. In the details.
Leaders know how to handle their magic wand. They grab the tiger of success by “detail.”
Consider the detail in the piece of bubble gum in the making airplane history. Or the significance in folding socks to become a champion collegiate basketball coach.
No detail is too small in the eyes of a leader-from the 82 different prototype models that factored into the final design of the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to the 98,178 storyboards used in the movie WALL-E — twice the 43,536 storyboards used in the movie Finding Nemo.
Leaders know the more they pay attention to the details the more their mission and vision will pay off.
BUBBLE GUM MAGIC:
Charles Lindbergh climbed in his airplane for what would become the first solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Then he realized for the first time he could not see the compass. An extra fuel tank, positioned in the cockpit, blocked his view.
Lindbergh climbed out of the cockpit. He asked a woman bystander for her compact .Then he asked another bystander for a stick of gum. He used the gum to stick the mirror from the compact on to the cockpit wall so that he could see the compass. Charles Lindbergh grabbed the tiger of success –by detail.
John Wooden, UCLA’s legendary basketball coach, would teach his players how to put on a new pair of socks by first smoothing out all the wrinkles that could cause a blister. He even had someone measure the feet of each player –both left and right– to assure the best fit basketball shoes. He did not merely asked each player his size. them inside out to remove a small clump of cloth that could cause a blister. His focus on detail even include the temperature of water served at team dinners (no ice) to avoid cramping and substituting orange slices for chocolate squares served at halftime because he said chocolate seemed to create “phlegm.”
Here are a few ideas to help you stay balanced in your ironic topsy-turvy world. Reading time: 5:34
The 4-year old girl stabbed her long thin spoon into the mountain of ice cream. She tasted the hot fudge, pursed her lips and said “Oh, that’s hot.” Then she swallowed, tasting the ice cream chaser.
Her shocked tongue delightfully beamed “Oh, that’s cold!” Hot fudge sundaes are hot. And cold. At the same time. They’re a composite of opposites.
So are leaders.
Chances are you feel like you are in a tug-of war-every day with your feelings and thoughts, actions and behaviors. You’re not alone. Read on to gain some solace in realizing that parlaying paradox is a leadership skill that you develop over time.
After all, the most effective leaders I’ve known are exemplars of opposites. They use their strength to create peace. They know only the strong can be gentle. They know they don’t know.
They’re so proud, they’re humble. They work in “exciting serenity” as artist Paul Cezanne characterized his working style. Leaders, oozing in the hot fudge of innovation smothered over the cold ice cream of the bottom line, perform paradoxically.
They are “quick but never in a hurry” as former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden exhorted his players. They persist paradoxically. They get up even when they can’t (as boxing champion Jack Dempsey‘s paradoxically defined a champion.)