Get Better Today

Readers of the Tobin Company blog know we focus on sustainable excellence. Many individuals, teams and organizations have tasted excellence periodically. It goes down well on the palate, doesn’t it? Like the perfectly aged Bordeaux, the perfectly executed recipe, the perfect balance of flavors in a great meal. But consistently delivering superior results over time? That’s another story. It requires process, discipline and focus. It requires energy, effort and persistence. It requires daily attention.

As an executive coach and sport psychologist, I’ve used a simple key with performers to deliver sustainable excellence:  Focus on one thing every day to improve from the day before. It could be personal, professional or relational. It doesn’t have to be monumental every day. For example, when I work out I try to do at least one more repetition or add a couple of pounds on each exercise from my previous workout. Over time, I see the progress in my records, feel the difference in my body and experience the additional confidence that comes with consistent accomplishment.

Why does this process work?

  • An accumulation of success experiences breeds confidence. By doing one thing better each day you consistently experience–and expect–success.  Each day builds upon the last.
  • Setting a goal to improve every day creates focus. How many times have you wound up at the end of a day wondering what you truly accomplished? By committing to daily improvement you organize your thoughts, energy and effort.
  • Continuous improvement becomes a habit, not a cliché. When you commit to daily improvement, you inherently look for and welcome development opportunities. You eagerly accept feedback rather than dreading it and reacting defensively.

A real-life example:  NCAA basketball Coach Bob McKillop

Steph Curry is one of the best players in the NBA, winning championships and earning MVP honors. Many people do not realize he was not highly recruited by elite colleges after high school. At Davidson College, Steph flourished under the guidance of Coach Bob McKillop, who has demonstrated decades of sustainable excellence. In my recent interview with Coach McKillop, he described how he teaches — and expects — his players to get better every day.

 

Sustainable excellence is not rocket science. It is the result of establishing an effective system and having the discipline to follow it. Getting better each day establishes the mindset. What are you going to improve today?


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