Let me save some of you some time right up front. If you don’t want to be better at your job, please move on to something else.
Good. Now that I have people who appreciate the idea of winning with me, let’s continue. And when I say winning, I mean winning at an entirely new level. The kind of winning that makes jaws drop. This article is about reaching the absolute pinnacle of achievement – a pinnacle so high that we have to stretch the English language.
Take the word dominant for example. Here are a couple of definitions: 1. In control or command over others; 2. More important, effective, or prominent than others.
Sure, those sound reasonable. But when the topic is the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, those definitions don’t come close to describing just how dominant that team is. Nowhere near close.
On Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Storrs, Connecticut, the Huskies won their 100th straight game. And get this — they’re not just beating opponents; they’re demoralizing them with an average scoring margin of 31.9 points.
Put simply: they’re the best. They’ve won a record 11 NCAA Division I national championships, and they own the two longest winning streaks in college basketball (both men’s and women’s).
Head coach Geno Auriemma joined the team in 1985, and today he’s one of the winningest coaches in college basketball: his 970-134 career record is the highest winning percentage (.879) among NCAA basketball coaches, any level, men’s or women’s, who have coached a minimum of 10 seasons.
So what are the lessons you can take from UConn’s unprecedented success? Here are the four I believe will help make your career a slam dunk:
1. D: Discover and embrace true discipline. After the team had just won the 2016 NCAA Women’s title a reporter approached center, Natalie Butler, who was sitting outside the locker room. He asked for a comment about the game and he noticed a puzzled look on her face and then she immediately stood. The reporter asked her if everything was all right. Butler responded, “CD [Chris Dailey] says we must always stand when talking to the media.” Even after record-shattering accomplishments, discipline remained key. Think about areas where you can be more disciplined in your career. Create a schedule filled with your most important tasks and adopt the discipline to do the work.
2: U: Understand the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. UConn guard Kia Nurse has been quoted as saying, “You know that every time you go out on the floor as a Connecticut player you have to sprint the floor. You have to run hard. You have to dive on loose balls, because that’s what everyone else does. That’s what they did to build this place.” This week as you go about your job, look around. Are these the people who can help you get better? If not, make a change.
3. N: Never settle for less than best and always think about how to improve. A few hours after UConn won its first national championship over Tennessee, the team was watching a replay of the game in a hotel room. At one point, Auriemma said hit pause and barked, “How the hell did we make that play? What were you thinking there?” He was criticizing a botched play. When you’re satisfied, you’ll never know what dominating in your field feels like.
4. K: Keep going. You’d expect a team that owns the record book to have an unrelenting drive, and of course UConn does. Auriemma joined the team in 1985, but it took six years to reach the final four in the NCAA tournament. Then it took another four years to win its first national championship. Celebrate progress. Even if it’s slow, it’s progress and progress begets progress when you’re doing the right things in the right ways.
You still on the court? You still willing to do what it takes to dominate your field? To be the best and then some?
Bubba Mills is the CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international Real Estate, Mortgage, and Small Business coaching company. Mills is a nationally recognized speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. Visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com.