Tough at the Next Level

I got CRUSHED playing college football….It’s Always Tough at the Next Level! Find What You’re GREAT at and Avoid the Pain!

Growing up in a small midwest town, success “on and off the field” was never an issue. LIke you and most leaders, we were naturals in our environment and knew how to succeed. 

 

After high school, I was asked to play college football as a Preferred Walk-on (aka practice and get all of the benefits of the scholarship players but without a free education). I enjoyed the experience and witnessed the transformation of a 1-10 football team my freshman year to Division II National Champs the following year (Great leadership lesson and future blog there!), I had a few “minor” flaws that would limit my ability to see the playing field on Saturdays (aka not big enough and too slow..not a good combination). The ability to put on 30-40 pounds while lowering my “40-yard dash” speed didn’t seem like a physiological equation that could be solved easily.

The BEST Version of YOU

However, we all have certain skills and God-given gifts that allow us to succeed in the right environment. Realizing the odds of “playing on Sundays” in the NFL were limited, I used the final two years of my college experience is the Assistant Head Coach for a High School team just 30 minutes away. I showed up for work the Monday before their first game and was told I was the Defensive Coordinator. That was a title I did not relish as 4 days later they were thoroughly defeated 89-6 (not a typo!) by one of the better teams in the state. 

However, I found my God-given gift as the season went on. My ability to coach, inspire, and motivate left me excited and eager to get to the practice field. I watched these young men dedicate time after the offseason and commit to being their very best. The following year we started off the year playing the same team with the same talent. And while we didn’t win…we lost in the 4th quarter 6-0. However, we had a winning season and won the final game. Being carried off the field is an experience we should all feel every day of our life!

 

We learn some things in college but I never knew finding my passion and love for coaching, mentoring, and inspiring teams would be what inspired ME! I’ve spent over 35 years as an entrepreneur and executive at several Fortune 500 companies not being “big enough or fast enough” yet excelling by developing teams and organizations and watching everyone play to their strengths. No career is immune to setbacks and disappointments, however, finding the right “swim lane” and excelling is much easier than putting on forty pounds while running faster. 

What’s Your Story?

As a Consultant and Success Coach, I’m committed to helping Leaders and Teams GROW “Living a Rich and Intentional Life! If you’re not good at home…you’re not good at work. And if you’re not good at work, you’re not good at home. No one has fun getting “Crushed On The Field”!

If this resembles your or your team’s story, please connect with me on my website (www.oxygen-plus.net). I look forward to hearing from you!

Surgery and Current Business Headwinds…What They Have in Common

There are a LOT of Headwinds in the economy these days. It will get better…but NOT without pain. I’m working with various organizations to create tailwinds out of these headwinds. 

Ironically, I recently had a tear in my meniscus resulting in knee surgery which in perspective mirrors a lot of the same pain I’m seeing leaders and organizations go through. I don’t wish either on anyone…but we’re going to have to deal with these headwinds for a while.

Lessons Learned From Surgery (and Leadership)

  1. Don’t underestimate the pain (and leadership can be painful)!
  2. Great doctors are only as strong as those they work with (i.e physical therapists, nurses, staff, etc), They will make your life MUCH easier!
  3. The knee won’t heal itself…routines (systems) and a great physical therapist (mentors) accelerates the healing process immensely. The same goes for agility (business agile) at work!
  4. Crutches (help) are typically needed at the onset…but true Leaders eventually learn how to toss the crutches aside. Leaders connect unique patterns and people and consistently create value.
  5. Patience is the key to recovery! Successful outcomes take time (I wish I had heeded this advice!!)

Move on!

While we can hopefully avoid surgery, we can’t avoid recessions and tough times. There are days when it’s easy and days (that seem like months) that are painful! Some of your decisions will cost you or your company a lot of money, some may cost you credibility, however, time is always on your side. Surgeries and physical therapy (like leadership) are painful but most people heal (physically and mentally). Be patient, get the right doctor (mentor/advisor), and use every opportunity to LEARN along the way. 

I’m developing an exhaustive tool kit for business leaders that will be posted under Coaching Tools at www.oxygen-plus.net

Finding Purpose,
Energy, and Intention