today’s shipment will be accompanied with a personal story, which has happened to me almost 18 years ago. (Whoah! Is it already 18 years?!) Once upon a time in May 1993, when I was at the start of my basketball career -> our team was taking part at our first big international tournament in Krakow – Poland. Apart from the fact, that we have made it all the way to the finals (out of 24 teams) – I did not know, that already at the age of 11, I was about to receive one of the most important lesson on leadership in my life.
On 23rd May 1993 – we played our big finale game. I believed we will win, because we were going through tournament without losing any game plus date (23.05.) was very favorable according to my secret interpretation -> 23 was number of Michael Jordan & number 5 as my number 😉 -> how many more affirmations could one need, right?
Sadly, my “superstitious witchcraft” did not work:-) & we lost in a very tight game against team from Poland, whose all players were one year senior to us (Note: in youth teams one year difference can mean loads of advancement).
Lesson on _____ arrived during a closing ceremony.
Moderator of the ceremony was obviously speaking in Polish language (which is with some difficulties understandable for us Slovaks) & he was calling out captains of the teams to get trophies on team’s behalf – at least we thought so that was the case. So, our captain, my teammate went to the stage with intention to pick up team’s cup – but instead she happened to stand among All Star Team, which consisted out of top 5 players – elected by all coaches.
So, what? Let me get to the point – just carry on reading.
Lesson was delivered to me on the way home.
When we* were walking home (*we stands for me & my Dad, because my Dad was accompanying me on every game ever since I have started playing basketball. God bless him!) He told me something, which brought tears into my eyes instantly:
“You know, you were elected to be in the All Starts Team not the captain, she just went to pick it up accidentally, but I have told coach to let it be & let her keep the award & prices.”
I was devastated, I cried in streams. I cried, because I wanted to have precious MJ book, I cried because I felt it is unfair, that someone else got the glory. I cried, because I knew I was practicing whole summer on the court in front of our house, when rest of the girls were having holidays.
Then my Dad, told me:
“I know it hurts, but remember important is that whole team played very good at the tournament. And also remember, that your skills cannot be taken away from you or enhanced with or without any award.”
Next day, when I came to school (our team was in the same class, too) and I was witnessing congratulations & admiration to my playmate, I was sitting in silence in the corner & repeating my Dad’s words:
“Our team played well & that matters. How I play & who I am is not linked to any awards.”
Secret of making your team always a winning one is:
Do NOT care who gets credit & your team will always win.
=> Let go off taking credit for a win or a score or a success of a project, give your heart to the team & always give your utmost best. Getting this mindset into my system at such young age, got me where I have got in basketball (and perhaps not only in it). Pass the ball* & your team will always win.
(*Note: Ever since I was leading statistics in assists per game.)
Don’t get fooled by those who get a prize.
Next time be cautious when you will be part of glorious fanfares & celebrations of someone, maybe, just maybe the one who has done most of the work is sitting in silence behind the scene – practicing mantra of the most important lesson of leadership in her mind:
“It does not matter who gets the credit, it is important that we have done remarkable job.”
P.S.: It is a first time that this story left borders of our family’s household;-)
What about you? Are you surrounded by “passers of the balls?” How dependent are you on recognition with your efforts by authorities? Are you frustrated/angry when others take the cream from your hard work? How do you deal with it?
Ball is on your court now -> Waiting for your comments 😉