When Michael Jordan was in his prime, it was magical to watch him dominate a game. Defenders would try and thwart his path to the basket only to see him sidestep opponents and float effortlessly towards the hoop.
When MJ released a long jump shot, he turned and started to run back on defense well before the ball splashed through the bottom of the net.
As he readied to play defense with the same intensity and ferocity as his offensive prowess, he flashed his legendary smile to the adoring crowd.
Michael was in the element. He was having the time of his life; to the casual observer, it appeared as if he wasn’t even trying.
How about you? The product manager; the marketer; the entrepreneur; the project manager; the Mom; the Dad; the husband; the wife. Can you recall a time when your ‘job’ seemed easy, fluid, care-free?
Here a few reminders that will increase your chances of being at the top of your craft.
- Find your ‘in the zone’ time. It might be early in the morning or late at night, but there’s a time during the day when you excel. Look at your past week and think back to when you moved forward on accomplishing some of your goals. Once you find that block of time, do your best to guard it – no meetings, no distractions.
- Recharge when the battery’s low. Even MJ needed some time on the bench. You can’t always be ‘on’. When you are fatigued or spent, go for a short walk, read a few pages of your favorite book, call a friend. You’ll replenish the tank and be even stronger for your next ‘go’ time.
- Produce. When Michael Jordan was on one of his iconic hot streaks, he’d never pass up an opportunity to shoot the open jumper or find the unguarded teammate. Being tentative or unsure never crossed his mind. When you’ve found your ‘zone’ (remember Tip #1), do your best to get to ‘done’. Maybe done is a draft of a press release, or a Web page design, or an agenda for the upcoming board meeting. Getting something into the hands of your colleagues, business partners, boss or friends will bring your closer to an exceptional final state.
We may never see another Michael Jordan glide with grace and power on the basketball court. But there is you; the product manager capturing critical feedback from a customer; the entrepreneur envisioning the expansion of his business; the coach motivating and inspiring his team to be their best.
Until next time,