If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I was sitting in an Anthony Robbins seminar last week. A Nike commercial began to play with a 12-year-old boy running on a road with an English man reading the script.
“Greatness is just something that is made up, somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is a gift, reserved for a chosen few, for prodigy’s, for superstars, and the rest of us can just stand by and watch, you can forget that, greatness isn’t some rare DNA strand, or no precious thing, greatness is no more unique to us than breathing, we are all capable of it, all of us.”
Greatness is within you
Or so Alan Fine said, while giving his presentation last week and I couldn’t help but believe him.
I spent an hour listening to Alan, the Welch native at FMI Connect Future Leaders in Chicago. Alan worked to shine a light not only on how your greatness can be harnessed with a little bit of fine tuning on your part, but helped with the self realization that as a coach or leader you need to earn your keep.
Alan started his career as a tennis coach, not by choice but by necessity to afford college in Wales. He was then kicked out of university for lack of attendance. He told a story of coaching a young girl whose tennis game was deplorable – she couldn’t return serves and wasn’t able to hit a tennis ball consistently if her life depended on it. Searching for insights to help her, he stumbled upon something that triggered a mechanism inside of her that made her a consistently good tennis player. Alan asked the young lady to say what the ball was doing when it hit the ground. She said, “bounce,” he coached her to repeat that every time the ball bounced. Then when she got the hang of that he asked her to say, “hit,” every time she hit the ball. She began to hit the ball consistently, more than 50 returns in a row. Greatness had been uncovered.
While some think that capacity + knowledge = performance, or an outside in approach of finding an expert and learning from that expert is the route to success, Alan believes that performance = capacity – mental interference, the inside out approach. You can achieve greatness, it’s within you, and you just have to remove the interference.
As a good leader you should remember that each and every person in your organization is capable of achieving success and they need the right guidance and relief of mental interference. Just as a coach is responsible for the performance of their player, so should leaders be responsible in your organization for an employee’s success.
Alan prompted some very interesting questions we can all ask ourselves:
Would your employees hire you to be their leader because of the difference you make in their performance, or would they fire you?
Is there something you can be doing to make you more effective at work and at home?
The biggest obstacle in performance is doing something we already know how to do, not knowing what to do. Alan suggests a simple mantra when going through the daily rigors of a hectic work environment.
The 3 F’s to help you succeed: Focus (paying attention), faith (manager belief in your employees determines the employee capacity) and fire (or energy).
Alan additionally elaborated on a tip that can help anyone in their leadership endeavors – SayDoCo.
Say what you will do. Do what you say. Communicate with stakeholders when you can’t.
For more information on Alan Fine, best selling author you can visit Alan-Fine.com.