Saturday, October 31, 2009

Top Athletes Show Up for Practice

Michael Jordan and Practice

Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the best basketball player to ever play the game. But it wasn’t all just raw talent. He trained relentlessly. Even at the top of his career, when everyone saw him as the best, most valuable player on his team, he didn’t use his fame as an excuse to get sloppy in practice. According to Stacy King, one of his teammates with the Chicago Bulls:

“He came to work every day. He didn’t use his superstar status to skip practice. MJ was always at practice. For someone like myself, I couldn’t call in sick with a toe injury. If Michael Jordan could get pounded on every night and then come to practice to run sprints and go through a full practice the next day, guys like myself and B.J. Armstrong couldn’t think about missing practice. He had tremendous talent, but he was ultra competitive and had a great work ethic.”

Tom Brady and Matt Ryan at Practice

In football, you see this work ethic in successful players like Quarterbacks Tom Brady for New England and Matt Ryan for the Atlanta Falcons. They show up for all the optional, off-season conditioning. They keep practicing plays after the regular practice. Ryan has the game plan sent to him before the first day of practice, so that he can start studying it early.
A part of success is simply showing up. That goes for school too. I know that you have those days when you can think of a million things you’d rather do than hop on that bus. But I challenge you to do it anyway. Keep showing up. For successful people, that’s a huge part of their success.

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Led Zeppelin and Jack Welch Show Up On Time

Led Zeppelin took the 1970’s by storm, rising quickly to become, not only one of the most popular bands of their time, but of all time. Their song, Stairway to Heaven, remains one of the most played songs on radio. They’ve sold over 200 million albums worldwide. VH1 ranks them #1 on their chart of “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.”

Although they got into their fair share of craziness along the way, they were professional when it came to their music. They determined that they would let nothing come before their music. Here’s an example: according to their manager, during their twelve years of performing, they never missed a performance. Never. Neither were they ever late.

Think of it this way, had they been performing throughout your school career of 12 grades, they would have never been late for a performance. Not once.

You’ll find this as a characteristic of many highly successful people. They show up. On time. Every time.

Jack Welch lead one the largest, most successful companies in the world – General Electric. GE is worth more than the total domestic product of entire countries. Because of Welch’s performance there, he’s considered one of the greatest business leaders of his time.

But before he became president, while he was working his way up through the company, he found ways to separate himself out from the pack. Here’s one thing he did: if he had a business meeting scheduled the next day in another city, but he was afraid that bad weather might delay his flight, he’d fly in the day before.

That attention to showing up, on time and prepared, was a part of what made people know that he could one day lead the company.

From Led Zeppelin to Jack Welch, success people find ways to make their meetings on time. Do you want to get a good education? Now’s a great time to overcome whatever hurdles keep you from showing up from school. Hey, it’s not always easy. But find ways to make it happen and it just might make you successful, whether you want to be a rock star or a business leader.

(Sources: Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin, Uncensored, by Richard Cole, with Richard Trubo, HarperCollinsPublishers, 1992, p. 377.)

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