One of the greatest track coaches I have ever been associated with didn’t care about winning all the competitions leading up to the conference and championship meets. He used the competitions leading up to the championship meets as opportunities to develop depth and rest many of his top athletes. This gave younger less experienced athletes an opportunity to experience pressure situations to see if they would sink or swim. Not surprisingly, despite sitting out many of his top athletes his teams almost always rose to the occasion and won those meets anyway. His focus on the process and not the results in those meets led to a record number of championships during his tenure.
Have you ever wondered why so many teams or companies that start on top, don’t finish on top? While often less highly regarded or overlooked teams and companies finish above them in wins or earnings in the end. The ones that end up on top usually take a long term view and are focused on their growth and improvement. They realize that each day counts and small improvements add up to big results.
These teams and companies concentrate on the process and gaining experience. Whether it’s being down and recovering, being up and adding to their lead or learning from a loss or error, their purpose is to learn and adjust. They keep their focus dialed in on all the things that are within their immediate control, and waste no time on things they have no control over and this gives them a mental edge. As Yvon Chouinard says, “If you focus on the goal and not the process, you inevitably compromise. Businessmen who focus on profits wind up in the hole. For me, profit is what happens when you do everything else right.”
The teams and companies that appear to be exceptions to this rule, to outsiders, almost always are not. If you look beyond the surface, chances are you will find a team or company that indeed was consumed with their own growth and constant improvement. One of the hardest things for teams and businesses to do once they achieve success is to continue to do the things that got them there and this is what separates the wheat from the chafe. Many teams and businesses rest on their laurels, but if you are not growing you are deteriorating and another team or business will gladly overtake you.
As the great investor Warren Buffett said, “We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.” If you enjoy the process and concentrate on it, your chances of success will increase greatly and likely so will your proceeds and wins too.
Posted in The Mind Side Blog Supertao.com
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“Preparation isn’t everything; it’s the only thing”-Sam Obitz