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0.4 Seconds

Three nights ago, I hosted 25 leaders in the Phoenix Area to band together to sip beer and form a conversation surrounding productiveness and leadership inclusion. Throughout my relationship with these attendees, they have shown me what it takes to lead an organization through implicit and explicit feedback and criticism. Don't get me wrong -- the feedback wasn't always directed towards poor performance. As often as not, kudos and high fives were handed out for stellar action.

The night led off with a story about how I missed my shot at becoming a United States Olympian by 0.4 seconds, the lessons I've learned along that journey, and how those lessons apply to life as I know it to currently be.

Arguably, the most important point of the night came from this anecdote:

The 0.4 second margin of error (most would agree) is a small one. But it never was about that fraction of a second.

While the results of that race were out of my control, the preparation for it was entirely up to me. Instead of ailing comparison to other high performers (blame, if you will), the hindsight brought me back to every micro-decision made along the way and how small behaviors trigger larger tidal waves of action (ownership). For the sake of identification, we'll call this course orientation (opposite: destination fixation).

It has and will always be about the process. This is statistically advantageous & here's an experiment that may help solidify that thought for you:

Imagine yourself in a high-consequence situation. This could be a street fight, in the game-winning-shot situation of a basketball game, or the day of a big exam.

While not all of these scenarios call for life or death, the outcome of insert event here should have lasting effects on the way you look in hindsight. "I should have taken more backwards, fadeaway, single-arm, closed-eyed shots" or "I should have studied harder."

Now, with those thoughts, I challenge you to conjure up a retroactive action plan.

Does it involve more preparation, leading up to the final moment?

Stop telling yourself that over-preparation is a thing.


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