This article was based on episode 229 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Members of the Modern Manager community get two months of Fast Forward membership for free. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.
As an avid athlete myself, I’ve experienced many transferable lessons from sports to the office. Whether it's working as a team, pushing yourself beyond what you thought were your physical limits, or adhering to a demanding workout schedule, there is much to gain from how we approach excellence as athletes.
Joel Green has taken these lessons from sports and life even deeper. Joel is CEO of Pro Level Training, the National Director of Nike Sports Camps, a former professional basketball player, and a renowned motivational speaker. His recent book, Filtering: The Way to Extract Strength from the Struggle, contributes tangible advice for attaining desired goals. Here, he shares his insights for how managers and their teams can achieve extraordinary performance.
FILTERING: WHAT’S YOUR PERSPECTIVE
The biggest block to moving forward often comes when we experience an avalanche of emotions that threatens to overwhelm us. We need to learn how to break things down in order to manage these feelings. Joel calls this process “filtering”. To begin filtering, first take a few deep breaths to help calm your system. By separating yourself from your emotions, you gain the upper hand, rather than the external stimulus having a hold over you. Then, instead of avoiding these feelings, lean into them. Ask yourself what strength and power you can extract from this challenge. This change of perspective means that obstacles and emotions become fuel. By focusing on yourself rather than external stimulus or competition, you turn difficult moments into opportunities to thrive.
Pruning: What Can You Let Go Of?
Remember the lesson from Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid; we prune in order to allow space for growth. If our time and energy are at max capacity, we don’t have the space to try new things. Sometimes, we need to assess the current situation and cut out people, activities, or projects that are no longer serving us. Take a step back from your work and give yourself time to consider what’s working and what’s not. What needs to be cut off from your current process? What’s taking up too much space and not producing results? Joel suggests pruning your current load by figuring out what is consuming your time and energy but isn’t helping you move forward.
Embrace The Fatigue
Fatigue - whether it’s mental, physical, or emotional - is part of the process of growth. Remember that so that you will be prepared when it hits. Fatigue means you’ve been working hard to meet your goals. Embrace this perspective in order to get to the other side. When we see fatigue not as being tired but as being on the way to something great, it becomes easier to manage. When we fight through fatigue, we feel fulfilled knowing we are doing what most people won’t do and going the extra mile.
One of Joe’s favorite approaches is to push yourself to do “just one more” in order to get the best out of yourself. It’s looking at the fatigue and proclaiming that you can give just a tiny bit more. By making the increments small enough, you can find the strength to do “just one more” which will have an exponential impact on your progress over time.
Our teams want to accomplish great things. By modeling and teaching the healthy habits of filtering, pruning, embracing the fatigue, and pushing “just one more time”, teams learn valuable approaches to reaching their goals. Offer your team your own personal experiences with these healthy habits to help make it real for them. Keep spirits up with inspirational words of wisdom. And help them internalize the deep lesson that “obstacles" are what help us grow. When we focus on ourselves, and grow stronger from our challenges, we have the power to create something truly wonderful and extraordinary.
KEEP UP WITH JOEL
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This article was based on episode 229 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.