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Are You a Leader or the Leader

Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles. They three-peated – winning three championships in a row in 1991, 1992, and 1993. That hadn’t been done for about thirty years. After that run, because of the unfortunate death of his father, Michael stepped down from the game he loved.

Now Scottie was the leader of the team. The Bulls did well during the regular season, but weren’t able to win the bigg prize. In the spring of 1995, Michael announced he was coming out of retirement. The Bulls and their fans were elated. Perhaps no one was happier than Scottie.

The Bulls didn’t win the prize that year, but they were fully ready by the next season when they won the first of three more titles in a row – the repeat three-peat in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Scottie struggled at times as the leader, as #1, but he thrived when he followed Michael’s lead. Sometimes it pays to be #2. Because after Michael returned, Scottie reached the height of his game again and became one of basketball’s all-time greats.

Know your own strengths.
You may be perfectly suited to top management, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be #1.

Know how you complement other people on your team.
We’re talking about Michael and Scottie as if they were the whole team. The Bulls didn’t become one of the greatest teams of all time just because of these two players. It was the whole team and the coach that accomplished this great feat.

Realize that you may achieve greater success by being #2.

Scottie didn’t win any championships without Michael. Of course, Michael didn’t win any championships without Scottie, either. Being #1 doesn’t mean being the only one. They were both successful on their own, but together they achieved bigg success.

Sometimes the best way to insure your own bigg success is to work with someone who drives you to step up your game because they play at such a high level. Then the two of you both become more successful than you could ever be on your own.

Scottie was a leader, too
Scottie was a leader even when Michael was around. That’s part of the reason Michael was able to do as well as he did. Michael even commented one season that Scottie was the best player in professional basketball.

But when Michael wasn’t there, Scottie wasn’t his same old self. His demeanor was different. He didn’t seem as focused. Michael lifted some of the weight off of his shoulders so he could excel at what he did best.

So we’re not saying that you shouldn’t be a leader. It’s just that some people are better off not being the leader. 

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Our bigg quote today comes from Donald H. McGannon:

“Leadership is action, not position.”

So no matter what your number is in your organization, take action to be a leader.

Next time, we’ll discuss how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Image of car speeding by at the Indy 500

5 Ways to Stop Racing in Circles So You Can Succeed Bigg

Image of car speeding by at the Indy 500

The Indy 500 is this weekend. Now we’re fans of racing, but if you think about it, these drivers are just racing in circles. They drive around the same circle again and again. The fastest one to do it 200 times … to drive 500 miles … is the winner. But they haven’t gone anywhere. They finish in the same place that they started!

But the winner gets to drink milk!

Of course, winning races does take you places. But outside the racing world, if we just go racing in circles, continuing to do the same things, over and over again, we end up in the same place that we started.

Then we wonder why?

So we try working harder. However, we’re still doing the same things, so we just get back to the same place faster. But the problem is – we’re still in the same place! We haven’t gone anywhere.

So we just keep racing in circles, over and over again. Never making any progress. We have a lot of activity, but very little (if anything) to show for it. We can’t move past this one spot.

Speaking of over and over again, here’s a statement to read over and over again until you have it memorized …

If I continue to do what I’ve always done,
then the best I can expect is what I already have.

5 ways to quit racing in circles

#1 – Get out of your comfort zone.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you never push yourself beyond what you already know, you’ll never grow.

#2 – Identify what’s holding you back.
This could be your work place, certain relationships, personal habits, negative thinking, or any number of other things. What’s busting your dreams? What’s crushing your spirit?

#3 – Do the right things.
You know where you want to go. Everything you do should take you in that direction. Anything that doesn’t … doesn’t need to be done.

#4 – Work smarter.
Think about how you spend your time. It’s the most precious resource you have. Find ways to do the things you do more efficiently.

#5 – Get help.
Be it a coach or a mentor or some other advisor. If you’ve tried everything you know to try, bring in support. Don’t be afraid to pay for this investment in yourself.

Our BIGG quote today is by Barbara Sher:

“Real obstacles don’t take you in circles. They can
be overcome. Invented ones are like a maze.”

So to get to the winner’s circle, avoid the obstacles you create yourself.

Next time, we ask, “Are you A leader or THE leader?” Until then, here’s to your BIGG success!

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Building a Winning Team – Lessons from Two Great Coaches

Here in the United States, March Madness is winding down. The Final Four NCAA basketball teams will play tomorrow with the winners meeting Monday for the championship.

That got us thinking about how great coaches build winning teams. So we decided to compare the style of two of the greatest – Bobby Knight and John Wooden.

Bobby Knight spent most of his career at Indiana and recently retired from Texas Tech. He won more games than any other coach in the history of college basketball. He also made more NCAA tournament appearances than anyone else. He won three championships (tied for third) and was selected the coach of the year four times.

John Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood, spent most of his career at UCLA. While there he won a record ten championships, including an amazing seven in a row. He holds the record for most games won in a row (88) and most undefeated seasons (4).

Bobby Knight’s way – Build your playbook and recruit the best talent for it.
Bobby Knight was known for his “motion offense” and aggressive man-to-man defense. Knight only recruited players that fit his model. He had a system; his players had to mold themselves to it. This is the most common way to build your team.

Design your playbook. Determine the duties of each position and recruit people to fill it. Then hold them accountable.

John Wooden’s way – Find the best talent and build your playbook around them.
Wooden played the game based on who he had. Some years, that meant great guards; at other times, he built around a big man in the middle. Sometimes he played man-to-man; sometimes he played zone – it all depended on his players.

This isn’t as commonly practiced in business as Knight’s strategy. In basketball, you have seasons. In business, you don’t. But you do have phases.

In each phase, you’re trying to accomplish certain things so you can move on to the next phase. That’s where Wooden’s strategy works – think about what you need to accomplish in this phase and who would best help you accomplish it. Then go get your players!

440 Jake’s Take] – Top 5 reasons your team didn’t make the Final Four

#5 – Your players stayed up too late catching the midnight showing of "Horton Hears a Who."

#4 – Your coach went a little too far with the motivational tools he picked up at Guantanamo Bay.

#3 – Your team was too pre-occupied with midterms and grad school applications to focus on silly things like sports.

– They did the right thing by losing and thus avoiding the inevitable riots and on-campus arson incidents that happen when teams win the national championship.

#1 – At least by losing, they can finally get those cheerleaders and the pep band to shut the heck up.

Our bigg quote today is by Jean-Claude Kelly:

“The best and fastest way to learn a sport is to watch and imitate a champion.”

So learn from these champions to build your winning team.

Next time, we’ll discuss a key component that gets people to buy into your personal brand. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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