I am sure that each one of us at some point played and performed as a true Champion! I bet you loved that remarkable feeling. But then it went away and it is hard to get it back, right? Or maybe not – you can still have it, and that can make you a true Super Star in all aspects of your life consistently.
What Champions in Sports, Business, and Life all have in common?
Let’s take a quick look at what they do:
1. Dreaming Big – Can you even recall when you were 5 or 6 years old with eyes full of wonder, dreaming one day to be a policeman, firefighter, athlete, teacher, doctor or a lawyer? Are you one of the billions of people who woke up as an adult and wondered “What just happened to my dream?” as you find yourself doing something you simply can’t stand for a minute longer?
The Champions that I had the privilege to meet and interview and get to know never let go of their dream fully through their life. As I was talking with tennis coaching legend Warwick Bashford, he shared a golden nugget that it may be worth reading twice:
“If your dream is not creating fear and anxiety within you, it is not big enough.” ~ Warwick Bashford
I can’t agree more! You may need to expand your dream over the course of your life, allowing yourself to play a bigger and greater game in life.
2. Improving Consistently – By being coachable and teachable. Why do some of us watch things happen while others make it happen? Taking action has a lot to do with that, don’t you think? Allow change and be open to change in your own daily routine, training style, coaching as well as performance.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ Victor Frankl
In the moments when we can do nothing besides working on ourselves, this might be our best time investment. Eventually, others will invest and hear you out too. Why? Your success will make the needed noise.
3. Discovering Yourself – Truly know yourself inside out with a keen sense of self-awareness – at any given time! You can have true congruency of your performance on the field and of the field. A feedback that you can receive if you are even slightly open to it will take you so further along. If you insist that you are right of the bat defending yourself and constantly surrounded with people that feed your ego about how great you are, you are never going to reach true success and the potential that you have. You will forfeit your greatness to something that is only temporarily satisfying. It is like an addiction – more of the same that only makes you feel like you are part of the game.
“Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing someone who could be exceptional having their potential wasted on something so small and temporary, driven by instant gratification and validation. How well do you really know yourself? If you don’t like something about you – change it! Most likely others don’t like that too.
4. Bringing a Value – Consistently! Leading with value on and of the court is as important as in the meeting room and at a networking event. Recently, when I asked my team of seasoned trusted advisors during a masterminding session to possibly consider someone new and with lots of potential to join the team they looked at me with a Big WHY on their faces. One of them even asked flat out: “What is he bringing to the table Izabela?”
I took a deep breath and realized that the current value of this prospect is not as clear since he is not clearly leading with it even though it is there. His point was so well taken – no one anymore wants a past performer with an old track record dated to high school or college with only a “possibility” to do XYZ. They want a high performer who can make a tremendous consistent impact NOW.
5. Contributing to Success – to others, not just themselves at any given time! How refreshing is to see someone on the top, bringing a selfless servant leadership approach and truly wanting to help others, including his or her competition.
“Play with respect. Winn with grace.” ~ Roger Federer
I am sure that each one of you has had a guy in the room that would meet with others each week or month not only to ask for advice and take it from the team with sense of entitlement but would also never offer support or meaningful feedback to the others. Please do not be that guy in the room! You are lucky that others are very kind and generous, but please do not mistake that for being clueless or stupid. Being a user is so easy, but being true contributor requires effort, skill and talent.
6. Leading Others – When you are in a visible role, you are leading others. Some do that to the path of greatness and others to the path of disasters. True Champions recognize that very early in their career.
Look at Roger Federer – what an amazing athlete, father, husband, leader, and influencer he is in the world. Who he is today is not an accident – he worked so hard to be the best he can be in all aspects of his life so early on regardless of his “current situation”. You have got to love his comments even when others try to provoke him – he is a man of class, poise, and exceptional leadership. The World can indeed use more men like him.
Younger generations are often perceived as a part of the problem since they are inexperienced and struggling to find their voice as they are carving their own path to Champion status. Warwick paints an excellent picture of how, as a coach, he innovatively sees, influences a new generation of superstars. This quote sums it perfectly:
“Not only YOU are the problem, YOU are also an opportunity!” ~ Warwick Bashford
7. Influencing Others – Simply put, they are not afraid to stand out in the crowd by doing the right thing right. And that can be very uncomfortable since it often requires bold actions, sometimes very bold!
Recently, I was asked to be featured as a monthly contributor in the hard copy and online “Entrepreneur” magazine called “Rowadalaamal” in Arabic. This magazine is owned by the Sawahel Al-Jazeera Itd., a publishing and adverting agency based in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The magazine currently has a reach of over nine million dedicated readers throughout the Middle East. And what is its purpose? To positively influence kids and youth in Middle Eastern countries that are an easy target for terrorist forces. After evaluating this opportunity, I step up to the challenge.
Happy Fathers Day to all dads that are stepping up to the challenge to be the best role models and to inspire greatness!
Leave a Legacy – A Legacy that Matters! Be a Legend – In Your Own Legendary Way!
Please share your thoughts, ideas, inspirations, challenges, and solutions – I read and respond to all of your comments.
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Izabela Lundberg (@IzabelaLundberg) is an Executive Leadership Consultant & Speaker for Fortune 500 & Professional Athletes, and #1 International Best Selling Author. Drawing on her extensive global business, diversity and high impact performance experience working with people in over 80 countries, Izabela also writes and speaks on topics such us Legacy Leadership, Strategic Leadership & Influence & #HighImpactPerformance