Monday February 17, 2020 0 comments
By Bill Van Eron
Stakeholder Relevance Strategist
Headwaters Marketing & Innovation
Many circumstances in life fall short as ideal. How we adapt to thrive shapes the quality of leader in all of us. Greater attention is key to better lives, orgs, government & communities.
Sports and nature offer inspirational lessons more of us should relate to. Here are a few questions that invite your response to validate relevance one way or the other:
- Who feels better by inclusion in an experience versus treated like we don’t matter?
- How many of us enjoy encouragement from others with more talent than we have?
- In basketball, as one gives you a pass, do you just say thanks, or return the favor?
- If you work to get free, but rarely get that pass, do you give up trying?
- When you try to ask for team ball, does the ball hog attack & degrade you for it?
Reflect on the relevance of these questions to your life, values, career, workplace, government & community. Share a few examples that you see? What can you see improved?
The value resident in all sports (especially basketball) was clear to me as follows:
A. As a progressive shared & encouraged participation experience.
B. The chance to shine, whether as a scorer, defender, passer, rebounder & as a good sport.
C. The best players often encouraged us versus commanding all attention to themselves.
D. We all had ample opportunity to shine on any given day. When the value in team ball was applied by even the best - Michael Jordan, Kareem, Curry as they then all won championships.
Imagine now, how strong the following would be with these principles in play:
- Recognition of your unique gifts to apply beyond the confines of a repetitive job description.
- How earned significance plays back as a collective and personally catalyzed value?
- How everything is defined by a culture – open or closed, selfish or shared, energizing or not?
- Greater respect for objectivity, creativity, honesty, compassion and self-reflection.
- Technology & government owning up to human enablement & sworn oaths to we the people.
- We as a democracy & a planet are at serious risk. If we do not unite above partisan ball hogs to get beyond our bias, to shape shared truths and priorities, can any of us really accept that?
Self-Reflection: Even though one guy harshly criticized me as I hit a nerve, when I asked after 4 games if he had any assists. He said nothing I can say will make a difference & if I tell him how to play, there will be consequences. You don’t say that to a guy that grew up in the projects of Brooklyn, nor do I see value in putting him down in kind. The more we as humans learn to reason through things openly without our bias closing us, the more we as a nation & as a world gain a say in what really matters.
Yes, I could have handled this better. Sure, no one is perfect & individuality is a value. Yet as we face the option to shape a true age of interdependency, true leaders say we more than say I.
Yes, he is a talented scorer and younger & faster than the guys 60-75 that we play with.
When I was a teen on into my late 40’s I was still playing daily with D1 and Pro players Kareem, Bernard King, Dr. J, best friend Jim McMillian & 40 more. Three pro teams invited me to their summer workouts 2 years each -- The Knicks, Nets and Magic. In Denver, I played daily with Joe Barry Carroll, Tom Hammond, several Nuggets, Michael Ray Richardson and more, but I earned it, while respecting their accomplishments highly. Funny, when I worked in Boise for HP, I connected with a group from Brooklyn. It was like a flare touched my soul at the age of 50. My two sons who were in H.S. (Frosh & a Junior) plus two average guys in the park were greeted by the undefeated Boise State college basketball team. Their top 8 players asked if we would be OK scrimmaging against them so they could practice. Three of their guys were 6’11 to 7’ tall.
Amazingly, we won all 8 games to 21. Every shot scored as one point. I so enjoy playing with my sons & friends. On that day I was hot, so my team kept feeding me the ball. Normally, I would not shoot that much as I enjoyed setting them up to score. But this was their way to say thank you. I knew I did not miss once in 8 games, reminiscent of my younger years. But my sons kept track and said I made 58 straight jump shots. OMG, that felt great, like talented local friends Don & Chase. No matter how rare of late, while I can relate to the joy that keeps the ball hog shooting all the time…I have a higher value to share that experience.
The Macro View:
- Most come to the gym, office or government to participate. When limited to just watch, why go? This is also why 70% of global employee’s feel emotionally detached to work.
- I expect big egos as we grow up and fight to earn recognition, but not in retirement.
- As we respect & pay attention to others, help where we can, put egos aside, create a shared purpose, our attitudes become more open, more conscious to others, a great experience for all.