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« Humor in the Workplace: "It should not have happened in the first place..." | Main | The first stage in the acceptance of a new idea ... »

August 23, 2007


Alvin Chang

This is an example of what Steven Covey teaches in seven habits of highly effective people: Things that matter most should not be put at the mercy of things that matter least.

And things that matter most are not many..just a few...

Simon Calder

Good for business world too. Many times, management looses focus on what is most important to customers and operation. Dispropotionate time spent on side line indicators and soft issues than main stream business indicators.

J Choksi

I used to work for a company where there were five food bars in cafe, gym filled with employees during work hours; people brought dogs, cats and kids to work; pingpong tables in every building, music room; free coffee, pastries and apples....
On technical side, we had football size labs on each floors, with most modern equipmets and only a few people working in it, flexible work hours, some people telecommuted everyday as part of thier normal living..
All that looked very good and we bragged about it during 90s...Just like what people used to say Sun will never set on the Britsh Empire, we though we lived in heaven on earth and felt like big winners...Until Sun set .....after the bubble burst...Stock went down 10 times and company is not growing...

Later many realized what mattered most and what winning is all about. Old management is gone and the company is in real bad shape...As they in sports, "One can not take an eye off the ball"
I work for a start up now and really know what it means to win and what does it take to win.

CB, Malaysia

I wonder what if Efforts and Results can be coherent? In many of times, we passed judgement quite fast that certain efforts do not work as the immediate results does not shown. What if the importance or success is the "process" or "jouney" besides the result? Is "Winning" the only destiny? Or values the emphasis? Could any company stay focus on its Values and thrive in ups and down of economic environment? Think so...;-)If every efforts is to breed positive results? then where and when Risk Taking is going to be demonstrated? I am not suggesting we condone `failure' efforts, perhaps is the continue enhancing till we breed the intended result. Perhaps is an expansion or re-engineering of efforts, so that we create the intended outcome that is workable? Stephen Covey in the "7th" Habit emphasize on the Sharpening of Saw, which is a balance of Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence. Is emphasizing on "Result" only taking care for the Physical dimension? Food for thoughts. There is no "right" or "wrong"! do what is Workable. My humble thought.;-)Thanks Anand for inviting us to start `thinking' and "reflecting". May all be blessed abundantly.



This story is innate in the nature of sports competition and in free entrerprise economy, and in nature, too. Results count. Perhaps the coach accepts that he will lose his job, and only the news reader is perplexed about this inevitable conclusion.

On the other hand, though the importance of results/winning in competition is undeniable, this is not the only important thing in the universe. What about coaching the players to be good atheletes and good sportsmen (good citizens), even if some of the big games are lost? Isn't that the ultimate purpose of a coach and the ultimate reason for playing sports?

Have you ever heard about an enthusiastic, young university professor who is popular and innovative as a teacher, yet gets fired after only a few years because he/she couldn't win enough grant money, or simply because the university reduces head-count starting from those with least years experience. What a loss for the university, which has the stated purpose of developing talented human resources of the future, but an actual priority which is only to maximize revenue and gain media recognition. At many universties, the sports teams exist mainly to pull in big money from alumni and other sponsors.

Another example might be the once family owned company that is dedicated to providing quality products or materials for the benefit of community, country, or planet. Let's say the company enjoyes prosperity and moderate growth, which it shares with investors. Then a hostile buyout by an investment firm, results in break-up of the company in the name of short-term profits. Investors cheer the earnings (results!); Society loses, both in terms of employee layoffs and quality products discontinued.

Back to the coach's case, it is all too easy for the university's board of directors to fire a coach who fails to win the big games. Much harder for the board to keep the coach and find a way to help inspire him to inspire his team. Such is the difference between greed and happiness.


Thinking more deeply about this, I come to wonder what would a great coach do to get his team members to perform when they are failing to win the big games? After all, any louse can coach a team that are already winning, right? I don't know much about sports and coaching, so these are just my own thoughts...

1) PRIORITIES- Are the players' priorities in the right place? If not, why not? Are they playing for other teams, other sports? What can be done to get them focused? Are the coach's incentives/punishments truly matched to the team's own goals?

2) ENCOURAGEMENT- Did the coach just tell the players what he expected (victory), or did he spend the time and effort to understand the SWOT of each player and work with them to achieve victory as a team. I don't think fear is nearly as effective as encouragement.
Vince Lombardi (only famous coach I know, really) said:
"Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate."

3) COMMITMENT- There is an old joke about the difference between a chicken and pig is that the chicken produces eggs, so it is "involved" in your breakfast; the pig donates bacon, so it is "committed" to your breakfast.

On a related thought, it occurs to me that PARENTS DO NOT DROP THEIR BABY. Heaven knows I drop just about everything else, even expensive things, even when I am trying my damnest to be careful! But never once did I drop my son. Not even close. If there is any way to feel the difference between committment and involvement, there it is. That is love, hence Quality is Love. No love, no sustained victory.

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