Improve Continuously

May 10, 2023

Why are performance replacements so attractive?

As a sports fan, I regularly follow and study what head coaches say and do to build their programs. I am a firm believer that much of what is said in the locker room can easily cross over to the marketplace conference room.  So, in 2007, the year QB Tony Romo became the face of the Dallas Cowboys he was asked about the role his former head coach Bill Parcells played in his development.  For four years, Parcells invested in Romo while he served as the backup to the likes of Testaverde and Bledsoe, all while remembering one key piece of advice his Coach gave him: “Never let good enough, be good enough.”

Without knowing it, many organizations and teams perpetuate mediocrity. My Dallas Cowboys are a great example of that. Despite a determined owner and ample resources, they only have 4 playoff wins in the last 25 years. Perhaps there is some truth to what Joseph C. Hermanowicz once said in that “Mediocrity is the marginalization of the adept,” or in other words, the average performers are dragging down the high performers in the group. Other research suggests that mediocrity stems from a lack of commitment, an attitude of playing it safe, or being afraid to fail. For them, the absence of failure is success, but I believe we should consider some performance “replacements” that lead to mediocrity.

Over the years we have seen an uptick in beliefs held by young professionals that have impeded them from ultimately performing at higher levels and boxing out mediocrity for good. The first, and most debilitating was a belief that they were the exception to the rule. Actually, being the best at what you do is the exception, not the rule. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to perform at high levels on a consistent basis and unfortunately, too many young professionals are unaware that they need guidance and wisdom to succeed.

The second “replacement” is the belief that just a few minor changes were all that was needed to advance. In other words, they believed that their performance wasn’t as bad as it seemed. This becomes subjective. That is the challenge of having a value like excellence. What one considers excellent, another considers mediocre. That is why at Victory Ahead, we focus on improving every day, continuously asking ourselves and others what we can do better to bring value to others.

The third and final “replacement” is the belief that they don’t need others to succeed. We have already touched on this one in Value Relationships, but it’s worth repeating that everyone needs a coach, no matter how talented and successful.

At Victory Ahead, we have a coaching process to help young professionals overcome mediocrity and increase their capacity and confidence to advance in their life and career. The process begins with awareness and in every step, accountability is baked in.

Here are three questions we ask our young professionals who attend our leadership academy.

  1. Do you have the talent to lead talented leaders?
  2. What’s possible for you and/or your team if you were all held accountable?
  3. What is at risk if you or your team are unable to deliver desired results?

Scripture Reading:  Colossians 3:17

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