By John Gronski
Many times, we hear leaders telling their followers and teammates to “be in the moment”. This includes leaders from many sectors including business, sports, law enforcement, and the military. But what does “be in the moment” really mean?
I think Sean McVay, coach of the LA Rams explained it well in a pregame interview prior to Super Bowl LVI. McVay said he told his players to be in the moment during the upcoming big game which he said meant putting good plays or poor plays aside and staying focused on doing their best for the task at hand. Good advice.
Balance and Consistency
Consistency is a good attribute. When we swing wildly from one emotional state to another based on perceived success or failure, it not only fatigues those around us, but it places a great deal of stress on our bodies and minds. We must be humble in victory and strive to learn when we fail.
All of us will make mistakes from time to time. It is important that we learn from those mistakes but not dwell on them. This takes a resilient person which includes having a positive view of life and having a belief that tomorrow will be better than today. Followers deserve leaders who have the resiliency to move on after a mistake in order to guide the team to success.
The Greatest Accomplishment
Vince Lombardi understood that if you are going to put it all on the line there will be times you get knocked down. At those times you must get right back up and get after it. Lombardi said it this way, “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall”.
Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” All leaders get punched in the face from time to time. No one is going to lead any organization without experiencing adversity at some point. It is imperative to get up and continue to fight even after suffering a bloodied nose.
History has shown that success involves not only talent but also persistence. Walt Disney’s editor at the Kansas City Star fired him after Walt was told he had no imagination or creativity. Oprah Winfrey was criticized by a television producer who told her she was unfit for TV. Early in his business career, Bill Gates failed at making a sales presentation when a traffic data machine he had helped create crashed when he demonstrated it to a Seattle traffic manager. Rather than letting this failure define him, Gates learned from the mistake and went on to become one of the richest men in the world.
As Bill Gates’ life has demonstrated, when we do fail and make mistakes, they are only valuable when we learn from them and then put those learnings to use. Successful people have had many failures behind the scenes, and it usually takes years of struggle before becoming what appears to many to be an “overnight success”.
Fuel for Success
The key is not to allow mistakes or failures to be an anchor but rather allow them to be the fuel that will assist you to accomplish your goals. This means taking the time to learn the lessons failure draws on our chalkboard of life and then continuing to move forward.