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Monday, June 22, 2009

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The Secret to Winning

Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio shocked the sports world by announcing that they were releasing Byron Leftwich, their starting quarterback, and replacing him with David Garrard.

Coach Del Rio stated that he not only thought Garrard was the better quarterback but that he also brought more positive energy to the position and team -- and "positive energy is something we covet."

Del Rio, like all great leaders and coaches knows an important secret. If you want to win, ironically, you don't focus on winning. You focus on the positive energy and attitude and development of your people and team.

John Wooden, the legendary UCLA Basketball Coach ironically never focused on winning. He focused on developing his players. He focused on improving their fundamentals, skills, character and team work. He focused on people instead of outcomes and as a result he won... a lot.

Of course all successful people and teams have a goal to win. But winning is just a goal and not the focus. Winning is the byproduct of great effort, leadership, coaching, teamwork and positive energy. And just as you can win in sports you can win at work and life by knowing and living this secret.

My friend Skip Tague told me a story about coaching his daughter's basketball team. In the beginning of the year they were like the bad news bears of basketball. They were blown out each game and the girls were dejected.

So instead of having the girls focus on the points on the scoreboard Skip devised a different point system. He gave the girls points every time they took a shot, or made a great pass, or got a rebound or played good defense.

The girls grew more and more excited about this and over time focused more on how many points they could generate individually and collectively with the new point system rather than the scoreboard. "And then a funny thing happened," Skip said.

The girls started to dramatically improve because they were focused on improving their skills rather than the scoreboard -- and they even won their last game. But the best part is that the following year Skip's team was the best in the league.

Whether its football, basketball, work or life, winning doesn't happen by focusing on the points on the scoreboard. It happens when we focus on the people, skills, positive energy and teamwork that generate the points.

Let us focus on these things, create a new scoring system and winning will come easy.
[Source: JonGordon.com, by Jon Gordon]



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