Usually, 8pm Warriors that make something great during their lives can point to key situations where success happened by an inch or two. It might be the large client that changed their mind and chose you, or the time you found just enough capital to push through a slow period.
Those victories are won by an inch. Every inch, every chance mattered for success.
The same goes for failure.
One of the reasons I am so passionate about pushing my absolute limits is because everywhere I look, I see inches. I try to take every inch when I can, not knowing how far I really have to go to reach my goal.
Even so, I am worried about missing by a couple inches. It’s one of my greatest fears and cause of numerous agonizing defeats.
I’m not alone.
We all need inches and tonight is the best time to find them.
PS. One of my friends mentioned that this pep talk below really fits with this topic. I agree. Check it out.
I’ve made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off anyone who’s ever loved me, and lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.
You know when you get old in life, things get taken from you. That’s part of life. But you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches. And so is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean…one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow too fast, you don’t quite catch it.
The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.
On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when we add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying!
I’ll tell you this – in any fight, its the guy who’s willing to die who’s gonna win that inch. And I know if I’m going to have any life anymore, it’s because I’m still willing to fight and die for that inch. Because that’s what living is!
This won’t apply to everyone. If you have trouble staying motivated, my blog isn’t for you. Try the thousands of CD’s, DVD’s, or books out there designed to motivate you. (Or try a motivational speaker instead)
For 8pm Warriors, motivation is the easy part.
By nature, we’re motivated people. We have goals. We have bright visions. We have big dreams.
Assuming that we also have brains, some level of success is a foregone conclusion.
Unless we get demotivated.
When you find and lead motivated people, remember that the key to success isn’t motivation. It’s avoiding demotivation.
Be sensitive to their needs
Operate in an open and honest manner
Chances are you already know these suggestions. Now it’s time to focus on them.
This may be the single most forgotten piece of the leadership puzzle. Many people give orders, manage people, provide training, etc., but what separates a leader from a manager is the act of going somewhere.
Where are you going?
If you don’t know, then chances are good that others don’t know either. People can always tell. If they don’t know where you’re going, they don’t know where they’ll be going if they follow. A major problem.
A road map isn’t required to lead successfully, but leaders must have a vision and openly share it.
It changes the whole game.
As I mentioned in my birthday post, my first and best memories are of going somewhere. There’s something about heading towards something new, fresh, exciting. A person feels different inside. There’s a purpose to one’s steps. Hope. Adventure. Excitement.
Give your team members a reason to stay…a reason to follow.
Before I share my own ultimate goal in life, let me explain my “Go Big or Go Home” goal setting logic.
Small, vague goals don’t work for me. I’ve watched what happens when organizations or people set specific goals that are bold and it does something special to them. When JFK declared to the world that we would land a man on the moon, it captured the attention and imagination of billions of people.
With focus, pride, and hope, a nation poured its passion into a project that just a few years before would have been seemingly impossible. In doing so, we not only inspired generations of young children, but also invented many things we use today.
By setting the bar so high, we became better for it. It defined us as leaders, inventors, and pioneers.
When challenging NASA to land a person on Mars, President Obama called the moon landing “…an endeavor that pushed the boundaries of our knowledge, of our technological prowess, of our very capacity as human beings to solve problems.”
I only get one life, so for my one goal, I needed to choose something big…something that would inspire me, push my boundaries, and lift me up to be a better person.
Here goes nothing…
My ultimate goal in life is to give away a billion dollars.
I have this deep desire to use my life to make a big difference for other people and I think a billion dollars put towards some amazing causes ought to do it.
Some of my closest advisers think I’m losing it. They gently remind me that a billion dollars is a LOT of money since I started from nothing and just took a beating in this economy. It’s hard to disagree with them, but after wrestling with this one I just can’t shoot any lower or I’ll lose my inspiration.
Since I hear some snickers from the back of the room, let me explain. Here are five reasons why I choose the “Go Big or Go Home” goal setting approach and this goal in particular:
1) It explains who I am
My ultimate goal serves as a personal brand promise. It says that I believe in something bigger than myself and that I like an epic challenge (also that I’m a little nuts).
It’s clear that I like to dream big dreams and chase them down. When partnering with me, I’d like people to know that I’m chasing something bigger than myself.
I’m not driven out of selfish ambition. I’m giving my life for others.
2) It’s big enough to capture my imagination and dedicate my entire life to it
I need a big enough challenge to keep my attention and drive me forward. This goal will most likely be the thing I chase until my last breath, giving me plenty of time to focus, strategize, and build towards it. No changing gears, message, or personal brand. This goal keeps it simple and focused. This is it. My whole life is on the line.
Will I fail?
3) If I fail, I will still make a difference
I believe that life is about the journey, not just the destination. If I’m going on a journey, I want to be traveling towards something amazing. It makes the hard parts easier.
Also, I don’t like to fail, but if I only give away $700 Million there will still be lots to celebrate. One cannot have a focused ultimate life goal like this and not have other achievements along the way. When people are pushed to be their best, good things happen well before the final goal is reached.
4) It is motivating
I used to be the development director of an inner city school in Milwaukee and we were able to raise about $2 Million and build a school that changed the world for hundreds of kids. Some of those kids are headed to college now. That experience changed me. It feels good to give, and it feels great to make a difference in the lives of others. It gives profit a new meaning.
5) I’m able to include others
I cannot do it alone. I will need others to join me, so I’m going to start a foundation and gifts from others will count towards my goal. My wife, kids, family, friends, and others who care about this goal will be able to take part in changing tens of thousands of lives. If I achieve my goal, it means others have too. I’ve always believed in teamwork and I can’t wait to travel down this road with others.
It begins now.
Let me know if you have any suggestions. I’m going to need all the help I can get.
Scarcity is the universal problem of having unlimited demand in a world of limited resources. The concept explains the value of gold or oil. They aren’t making any more of it, and demand outstrips supply. Therefore it has value.
Time is even more valuable.
Just like gold, they aren’t making any more of it, but with Time there is an added wrinkle that you can’t truly buy it or take it. We all get the same amount each month, each week, each day.
All you can do is use it or waste it.
That’s why delegation and strategy are so important. It’s also why there’s no day (or night) like today to start using it to the max.
It’s no laughing matter for 8pm Warriors. The clock is ticking.