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How to Win

The Nine Most Important Words for Any Employer

Just the other day I was reading on online forum of coaches. One of them asked a question on the mind of every coach at the start of a season, namely, “How do we make cuts?”
Well, the best answer is: Why cut anyone?
Why cut anyone when you don’t know which of your players will blossom? And one of them will!
At the beginning of every semester, every sports season, every hiring, we know three things for sure:
1, Some people will turn out better than expected, 2, most will perform to expectation and 3, some will fall short.
That’s not an oddity. It’s a principle. It will always be true.
In the words of seven-time U.S. Olympic volleyball coach Dr. Carl McGown, “Initial ability and final ability are not closely related.”
If you’re a leader who must hire assets for your organization, write these words on your heart.
“Initial ability and final ability are not closely related.”
Fine, you say. But we have to make cuts. There are only so many uniforms. There is only so much room on the bus. If we have too many people, then no one will get enough practice.
Fair enough. In that case, make your cuts. But do so only after making your team tryout as long as you can. And forget about looking for speed, agility, strength, size. It doesn’t take a genius to see those qualities.
Instead, invest your time in finding people who improve.
Spend as much time as you can with each athlete. Give each one feedback, and note the response. Does the athlete listen? Does the athlete try to put the feedback into action? And does the athlete say “Thank you” for the feedback?
The answer to those questions can help tell you which athlete has the best chance of getting better.
“Initial ability and final ability are not closely related.”
Here’s another idea to write on your heart:
“Those who know how to improve, know how to improve.”
Those who know how to improve are your potential invisible gems. They may lack the size, speed, strength and agility of other athletes, but they can make up for it by constantly getting better.
So if you must make cuts, make your cuts. But don’t cut anyone who shows a knack for getting better. You may be passing on a superstar.
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Thank you for visiting TotalGamePlan. For more information on improvement, check out my book “The Improvement Factor.”


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