On Greatness: Hear the Hard Things



We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

“Great athletes have great coaches.  They are already the best-of-the-best at their chosen profession, but they need constant tweaking and critical input just to stay where they are.  And often taking the step forward requires even greater commitment and a more critical eye.

Love him or hate him, LeBron James, after losing in the NBA finals to the Dallas Mavericks, went on a quest to become better.  He was already considered one of the top two or three players in the world, yet he hired the best coaches he could to help him with all phases of his game – a ball-handling coach in Cleveland, a shooting coach in Kentucky, and post-play coach in Houston.

As great as he already was, he wanted to win a championship and knew he needed to get better in order to do so.  That’s why he hired people to tell him what he was doing wrong and help him learn to be better at all phases of the game.

You probably know the rest of the story.  He and the Miami Heat won the next [two] NBA Finals and he was, without question, the biggest reason why.” (Story credit to an article called, Is it Me?, by Paul Adams.  Check out the full article here.).

I chose this true story as a wonderful example of a principle of greatness.  To achieve greatness you must be willing to seek outside guidance and input.  You must quit thinking that you have all the answers.   Even if you don’t do the things suggested by your advisors, you may start to see things differently and be able to “tweak your game” to go to the next level.

Find a person or a few trusted advisors that will be totally honest with you about your views, as difficult as it may be for you.  Axiom leaders are willing to listen to coaches and advisers to assess and tell them the things they don’t really want to hear.

Seek feedback.  Find trusted mentors and advisors you can counsel with.  Choose to hear the hard things.

Choose greatness.





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