by Jack Warren, host of the Top Coach podcast
I view every column as an audition, not an acceptance speech. – James Lileks
James Lileks of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is a humorist — a modern day Will Rogers. He can be serious as well, writing some incredibly compelling suspense novels and also commenting on current cultural events and such. He majors, however, in humorous insights in his daily blog and nearly-daily newspaper columns. That’s why it stops me almost dead in my tracks when he drops a line like that quoted above.
That statement is particularly apropos in his line of work, as his bread and butter is the written word. However, this could easily be translated into what you and I do every day. Paraphrasing Lileks — every swing is an audition or every team meeting is an audition or every podcast interview is an audition. You get the idea. There is a tipping point where much of what we do becomes either routine or self-congratulatory — if we allow it.
Do you look at your daily tasks the same way you looked at them when you were a new head coach, assistant coach, intern, or director of operations? Have you started just going through the motions? Perhaps even more troubling — do you present some of your work as though you should take a bow or — in today’s parlance — drop the mic? It is perhaps at that moment that results will begin to reflect what is already going on. That is, they have become stagnant and it won’t be long until your bosses are looking for a replacement.
What can you do about it? How can you combat this complacency? First and foremost, never lose the ability to perform an honest self-assessment. We might call it in coaching a thorough scouting report. Take a look at yourself and honestly evaluate the way you go about your regular tasks. You’ll be able to tell quickly if you’re going though the motions or perhaps living in denial. Don’t fall prey to routine. Work as if you are auditioning for your job every day.
Jack is available to speak to your team or organization or at your next function. He also provides individual and organizational coaching and consulting. You can get more information on these services at Jack’s professional services site, JackWWarren.com.