I was thinking about a leadership program that I was involved in 2014/2015, and one of the classes was called “The Power of One Degree” based on the book “212 degrees.” So let me say this: If you haven’t read the book 212 degrees, you are truly missing out on some great nuggets.
What does it mean to be #1, let’s talk football for a moment. For players who don’t make the playoffs, football season is over for them. For those that do, here’s what players get (and this is per person):
For the 2022-2023 season:
Wild Card teams were paid $41,500 and division winners were paid $46,500 for Wild Card games. Despite not playing a game, players on first-round bye teams still received $41,500 for the Wild Card round.
Players made $46,500 for the divisional round and $69,000 for conference championship games.
Here’s a #MayneMan Insert: Notice the increase from Wild Card to Division (and teams on a first-round bye get paid for not even playing – how’s that for a blessing). And those who didn’t make it to the playoffs don’t qualify for this extra money, fame, recognition and prestige. And don’t forget the increase from Division to Conference. Now, let’s look at the Super Bowl payouts to each employee.
Players on the losing team (the Eagles in this case) will receive $82,000 per player. Players on the winning team in Super Bowl LVII (the Chiefs) will receive $157,000 apiece.
Do you see the importance of being #1? Mediocrity is not acceptable and neither is average (and possibly above-average). Oh, I forgot to mention this: winners also receive a championship ring, which are generally valued between $30,000 and $50,000.
What are your takeaways on this? I see what my best man (at my wedding) said years ago, when you perform and qualify for the playoffs when the original season is over, you extend your season. Winners extend their season!!!
So let’s look at the flipside of this: there are many people who are striving to be #1, and there’s at least one person who is jealous of you (smiling in your face – you should know that song). The question is why are they jealous, especially when the person striving to be #1 wants them to come along – as that’s what a good leader does. Many would say low self-esteem, yet I would believe it’s a case of wanting to be #1 and not put in the work. It would require the jealous person to have to take a look at themselves and find out what they are doing wrong, and for some, pride may be in the way to where they won’t want to admit their shortcomings.
Winners who strive to be #1 have the mindset to put in the necessary work and have the discipline to finish. It requires a commitment without taking any shortcuts. And that’s very important and I hear my best man loud and clear when he says that those who aren’t prepared look for shortcuts. Yes, I understand that favor isn’t fair, at the same token, wanting to be #1 without putting in the work is really an exercise in futility (translation: a waste of time)!
My desire is to see people who are with me to strive for the same goal as we are all in the same boat. I do understand that not everybody will jump onboard due to mindsets. Winners understand that betrayal could happen. Now, let me qualify this: winners don’t go looking for those who could possibly betray them, as they are so laser-focused, they are just aware that it can happen. Those who run with turkeys will easily betray those who are flying with eagles. Another way I can say that is those crabs that are in the barrel will get mad when one crab gets out. The crab that got out the barrel understands that he’s free and there’s no one holding them back!
Winners understand that “misery loves company” and will quickly disassociate from those who are a distraction in order to complete their mission – and why is it that people hate those who are so committed? Because they have no focus and no drive to stay committed to their respective tasks themselves. It’s easy to blame shift than to be accountable for your lack of focus and commitment. In summary of this paragraph, winners understand that criticism comes from the uncommitted, and it comes in the form of “you think you’re better than me!” By the way, not everyone will appreciate your shine, don’t let that get to you. Winners understand that people who don’t have the mindset of a winner will always operate in mediocrity!
Most winners are excellent leaders and a good leader will set a bar (and will not accept mediocrity or even above average), not to prove they’re better than others, but to encourage them that they can do it as well and is willing to pull them up with them. They only accept excellence and will expect it for others (holding them accountable to excellence), and especially for themselves (holding themselves accountable to excellence). Unfortunately, when a good leader desires to pull others up with them, many don’t want a hand up, they want a handout. It’s easier to be given a fish because it’s a state of complacency, teaching people to fish requires work with a greater payout. People want a reward, but don’t either want the process that comes with it or they failed to count the cost. Another issue as to why people don’t want a hand up is pride. They don’t want to admit they need help or to allow others to help them, so when it’s time to perform, they’ll fall flat on their face (thus creating more embarrassment). The key to getting to #1 is to swallow your pride, allow someone to challenge your potential so you can maximize your capacity.
You can’t control other people and what they say and do, you can control you, and when you’re with a team that’s committed to the same goal, being #1, the team works together completing the task and not competing with each other! The only competing should be to be better (challenging each other).
Do you remember back when we were kids, we used to play kickball, dodgeball, baseball and other sports? When we played those games, we always chose people who were winners and/or we knew who were focused on winning. Those who were lazy or we knew who couldn’t assist in winning were always chosen last. The same concept holds true in life. Winners will hang with other winners who are focused on winning and they will help others win. Selfishness is not a characteristic of a winner. So, if you see someone with you and they wreak of selfishness, they are not for you, and they don’t have a winning spirit!
I believe that’s why these teams who were in the playoffs made it to the playoffs, they had the mindset of being #1! In my book, those who made it to the playoffs are winners, as they qualified for the extension of their season when the football season was really over. Overflow is imminent when you extend your season – it comes with work, faith and patience. And for the Kansas City Chiefs (though I was routing for Philly), that’s how they made it to #1. With that, swallow your pride, challenge yourself and make it your resolve to get to #1 for yourself (and not for bragging rights). Encourage others to get to #1 too. It’s more fun when others achieve success alongside with you! Help others when they struggle, no one should be left behind (that’s if they really want it). We can do it together.
The Mayne Man
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