7 Secrets Remarkable Leaders Embrace that Average Leaders Neglect
32,294 is the number of points it took for LeBron James to pass Michael Jordan on the N.B.A.’s top scorers list. It happened on March 6, 2019.* Lebron is now #4 on the list.
I noticed because I’m a fan of Michael Jordan. But he wasn’t remarkable at baseball.
In 1994 one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan, tried professional baseball. About a year later, he went back to basketball.**
Jordan was better than many at baseball, but he’s remarkable at one thing, basketball.
Jordan’s dad wanted him to play baseball. He wanted to see if he could make it. He couldn’t.
Thankfully, Michael Jordan spent most of his career focused on his remarkable talent.
Wouldn’t it have been sad if Michael Jordan had been distracted from basketball by baseball? What would he have missed?
Distraction is the enemy of remarkable.
You might be above average at a few things, but you’re remarkable at one.
7 secrets remarkable leaders know:
- Get over the need to shine at everything. Some say they don’t fail. That means they reach low and play it safe.
- Accept your average. We all use our average strengths. Don’t count on average strengths to produce remarkable results.
- Try stuff. Jordan couldn’t know if he was remarkable at baseball until he tried.
- Improve things that complement your strengths. If you’re gifted at analysis, improve decision-making. Avoid analysis paralysis.
- Eliminate dead-weight. The need to be right, for example.
- Stopping is essential for remarkable success. You aren’t remarkable until you dare to stop doing unremarkable things. You soar when you eliminate as many average activities as possible. Stop trying to please those who fear or resent your talent.
- Connect with remarkable others. Remarkable success is achieved by surrounding yourself with remarkable people and letting them rise.
How might leaders find and leverage their remarkable?
* NY Times
How might leaders find and leverage their remarkable?
“Know” what you do well, practice what you don’t!
Of course not everything is driven by physical success, we need the mental awareness and toughness to admit we need help, whether it is education or mentoring from a superior individual who had achieved we need to know, “You can’t Google everything”!
Thanks Tim. It seems like it all starts with the mental stuff.
This Post shows the importance of getting out of our own little corner of the world to see how others work, and how we actually stack up outside of our own comfort zone. Knowing what remarkable looks like gives you a target to achieve.
Thanks Mary Ellen. You are so right. I’ve shared the platform with some great speakers. It’s a learning experience, and a challenge to rise to new levels.
Remarkable leaders emerge when they are building their vision from the inside out. What’s inside will come out and often times, if not daily you’ll have “what’s that feeling?” moments!
Thanks Tycee. Any vision that isn’t an expression of WHO we are ends up sucking the life out of us.
#3 was the most important. You and the world can’t know where you’re remarkable, or not, until you TRY!
Thanks Betty-Jean. Every time I type “try stuff” I think of Tom Peters. If you cut Tom, he’d bleed “try stuff.”
8. Choose the road less traveled every so often and see results blossom; What I’ve seen over the years and most notably as the internet and communications has grown is that if you play it safe and take the well traveled road all the time, you as a leader will just get along and results will just be as they are. True pioneers take that road less traveled, the difficult one, the messy one, the untried one but as they do so they know what they are doing, they monitor and adjust as the road is traveled.
Most leaders won’t leverage their “remarkable” because their organisation isn’t interested in the remarkable. Most organisations want people to plod along doing everything at the same level of general mediocrity. Why would you want specialists playing to their strengths (who can leave gaps if they move on…) when you can have a set of interchangeable generalists?
Sometimes it doesn’t “hit you” about what you do remarkably until some time has passed. I work in the hospital laboratory field which includes laboratory outreach. I was describing a new opportunity to my son and suddenly said “It’s managing a laboratory outreach program. That’s what I do best.” It took me 30 years figure that out and it was a sudden realization.
Trying also involves accepting failure…getting over the paralysis of being perfect or correct. only by trying and failing do we get to the next level. Per Michael Jordan, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
“Stop trying to please those who fear or resent your talent.” That’s a bold statement, especially if you’re reporting to mediocre management in a risk-averse organization. What is your advice in that situation?
Dan, I learned (the hard way) that the solution for me was to find an organization that’s ready for your talent. I had a highly risk-averse boss who reported to exceptionally mediocre senior management.
They feared (or resented) my talent for making positive changes so they let me go. It was the best move of my career! I have been significantly more effective and happier since leaving that toxic environment.
I think it’s important to note that LaBon is a better leader and role model. While no one can take away from Jordan’s talent, but it leaves a lot to said about his paying it forward. LaBron is the model for that leadership ability. Every leader needs to give back as they didn’t make it there alone.
I like your Michael Jordan baseball parable; it’s a perfect example of how to view your own capabilities and how to focus your efforts. In your list of seven secrets the one that stands out to me is number four. Many people strive to improve their shortcomings. I agree that is a good thing for which to strive, but not when you are looking for remarkable results. Building on your strengths is where you can become remarkable. I suppose a good leader will surround himself with those that can fill the gaps that he/she cannot. This would free up time for the leader to focus on his/her strengths. If a leader is good at coaching and motivating, then he should leverage that ability to facilitate an environment in which his technical employees can prosper. This will better serve his interests, as well as, his employees.
These are great elements that combine to show how to get to a remarkable place. Don’t forget your weaknesses. But continue to improve on your strengths. I never knew about Jordan playing baseball. What a loss of talent the NBA would have without him. That story created a lasting image for me. Thank you, Dan.