Sunday, June 29, 2008

Notes from Avery Johnson's new book...

Spent Sunday reading Avery Johnson's book, Aspire Higher (that includes a great forward by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones).

A couple of notes from the book:

-- The decisions you make today will impact tomorrow, just as the decisions you made yesterday and the day before affected your life today. Tomorrow is a direct result of today. (page 39)

-- Pay attention to the small stuff. Forget those who tell you not to sweat the small stuff. Sweat it. (page 40)

-- You are in control of what you want to be -- but not if you're surrounded by TREADMILL people. People like the spouse, or lover, or boss who belittle you because of their own insecurities. They will disturb and distort or even try and derail your efforts to achieve your dream.

You'll have to eliminate certain negative people from your life or their going-nowhere "treadmill" mentality will effect decisions. You need to distance yourself from those people.

How do you do that? Begin by asking yourself these questions: With this person in my life, am I winning or losing? What sorts of things are they saying to me?

The answer to the second question will help answer the first one. (pages 46-47)

-- Changes -- even painful ones -- are going to be necessary at various points along your journey. If you keep making the same decisions that have prevented you from aspiring higher, you're going to get the same results. As I've said, if nothing changes, nothing changes. (page 48)

-- Great leaders also possess the ability to delegate. In order to delegate, you must have smart, decisive, detailed-oriented servants. Yes, I said servants. Above all, the men and women you entrust to execute your vision -- whether on the playing field, in the classroom, or in your company -- are there to serve you, not take your job.

Often leaders will hire a person for his or her skills without assessing the extent of his will to serve. The lack of willingness to serve is like kryptonite to higher aspirations . (page 92)

-- There is a bar representing the standard of behavior by which we all live our lives. Anything above it is acceptable behavior. They are the things we do that make us proud, that we would not be ashamed to talk about to anyone. Transgressions below the bar simply wont be tolerated.

The bar itself represents something. It represents EXPECTATIONS. It represents what we expect of ourselves. How high we place the bar represents to which we aspire. For many people the bar is too low. It's so low, they can reach it while sitting down .

No one sets the level of "your bar" -- your standards -- but you. (page 110)

-- We live in a microwave era when people expect things instantly .But real success has no timetable. (page 116)

-- Leaders must be able to communicate -- both verbally and non-verbally. Verbally it's important to communicate positively to individuals who work with in your inner-circle of support. Tell them you appreciate them. Tell them you need them. Tell them they did a good job, and keep working hard.

Tough communication is sometimes just as necessary, though. After I delivered bad news, I usually try to soften it a bit with non-verbal communication. Sometimes I'll take them to dinner, send them flowers or a restaurant gift certificate or a movie card. These are forms of communications that say, I care about you. (page 121)

-- Here's a bad habit most of us need to work on eliminating: ENVY. One of the things I tell my players is that they have to eliminate envy. If teammate gets on an All Star team, or is named player of the month, you must support that person because we are a team. We're all in it together: The good and the bad. If a teammate gets the glory, we all get a piece.

Don't be envious of a teammate who may be enjoying more success than you. If they're doing well in life , exchange envy for this thought: "I'M NEXT." (page 193)

Your team is like your house , a home under construction
A. Blue print
B . Solid Foundation
D . friendship
E .Welcome mat ( page 202)