The Secret of Success

Many people may not realize it, but there is more to success than just winning. No matter how many wins we have, all of us can be a success. Here is why.

Coach John Wooden tops the list of college basketball coaches with the most NCAA Basketball Championships. Ironically, in Wooden’s mind, being successful as a team was more important than winning.

Most of us don’t separate winning from success. In fact, we equate winning with success. Here is why success more important than winning.

We can’t all win, but we can all be successful.

The truth is we don’t all have the same abilities. Not everyone is an A student. In fact, most of us aren’t.

Not everyone has the same physical capabilities. Although all Goats are animals, not all animals are Goats.  People can win and still not be successful, especially in their own eyes.

Yes, we live in a day and age where everyone is considered equal. But the truth is we are not all equal when it comes to abilities and gifts. Some are given much and some are given little.

For example, Wooden had some great teams. He led eleven of them to NCAA championships. Yet when asked which team he felt was most successful, he named his 1959-1960 team. That team barely broke .500 for the season and ended up with a record of 14-12.

Why then would one of the winningest coaches ever consider them the most successful team he ever led? Because they played the closest to their fullest potential!

Remember, we can’t all win, but we can be successful. That 59-60 team was not championship material, however, what they lacked in ability, they made up for with heart.

To Wooden, what really mattered was not if his team won, but if they gave 100 percent on and off the court.

Success is ‘the wonderful feeling we have when we know we’ve given our all’. -John Wooden

In Wooden’s eyes, the successful players weren’t the most talented ones, successful players were the ones who gave it their all.

In fact, part of the reason his teams won so many championships is because they trained hard and fast during practice. They often made more mistakes on the court because of their speed, but they often won because other teams could not keep up with them. They were so fast, because they had been trained to give their all.

Now think about your own tribe. Imagine if you encouraged those you lead to give their all.

If you’re a Dad, imagine if you taught your children to give their best on and off the court.

Imagine if you encouraged your employees to give their best and rewarded them accordingly.

Imagine if you were the best husband you could possibly be. Yes, that might take some effort and some intentionality, but imagine the rewards.

Imagine if you inspired someone to give their best and they inspired others to do the same!

There is a catch. If we’re going to expect those we lead to give their best, we should give our best.

Specifically, you need an overall plan. You also need to write that plan down. You can’t expect your team, be it family, employees or church members, to perform well, unless they know what is expected of them.

In the words of Andy Stanley, “Every family has a game plan, the problem is nobody knows what it is.

Getting back to you as a leader. You’re not going to give a peak performance unless you take care of yourself. Whatever you do, make sure you put your own oxygen mask on before worrying about those around you.

Find out what fills your tank, and then make a point of doing it.

Find a mentor to pour into you; many of them are excited to share what they’ve learned with you.

Carve out time to pursue your hobbies and dreams.

Read, read, read. Warren Buffet averages 500 pages of reading a day! In fact, the overall consensus is that people who earn the most, read the most.

Eat right, think right, and exercise. Remember, you are a role model. Set a good example for those you lead. As you get healthier and achieve greater success, they will follow your example.

We’ve all felt the disappointment of failure at one time or another. Maybe it was a wasted weekend or a vacation. Perhaps we’ve failed in a relationship or even on the job. Sometimes we may feel like we’ve failed our children or our spouse. There are all kinds of places off the court where there is a potential to fail.  But failing doesn’t have to last forever.

The good news is that we can end the sickening feeling we get when we lose if we simply change our definition of success.

Wooden always told his players to hold their heads up after a game, regardless of the results. He believed if someone were to see one of his team members after a game, they shouldn’t be able to tell who won or lost based on the player’s attitude and body language.

How can we hold our heads up after a loss? We can hold our heads up if we know that regardless of the final score, we gave it our all.

As always, please feel free to leave your comments in the box below!


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