Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot
On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
A leadership mistake I see often. Leaders such as employers or coaches are responsible for putting forth a plan of action to generate results. A common mistake I see is a lack of leadership to adjust course based on results or lack thereof.
Both of my sons play on different tackle football teams. On one, I see the coach making weekly adjustments based on results, personnel, and the next opponent. This team has performed amazingly well due to good leadership. My other son plays on a team that makes no adjustments. They’ve done the same thing week in and week out and the results are never great. They make no changes, and it baffles everyone from players to parents to opponents. When it doesn’t work, the coach falls back on platitudes and excuses and absorbs no responsibility. He says “well it should be working” though it never has.
A great leader must be fluid and make changes, as necessary. Leadership is not a one-time event but a continuous process. It may involve addressing weaker links, course correcting or even completely changing course. I like to believe the best leaders are navigators, always evaluating where they are and where they want to end up.
A great lesson. A couple of years ago I was about twenty miles into my first 100-mile race when I came upon another runner. He began talking to me and we ended up chatting for a bit. He talked to me about how tough the race was, mentioned previous races he hadn’t finished, and started making excuses for why he hadn’t trained harder. I mostly listened, said little and just kept running.
After a mile or so of this, I could tell it was giving him comfort to have this conversation with me. What did I do? I sprinted away from him as he spoke. I didn’t care how tired I was or how socially awkward it might be, I wanted that man away from me. I could tell by his negative self-talk and excuses that he was going to quit, and that is a cancer. I did whatever I could to get myself away from him because I didn’t want any of that negativity getting near me. Sure enough, we both arrived at the next aid station around the same time and as I continued through it, I turned back and saw him leaving the course. He had quit just as I knew he would. Do whatever you can or must to remove negativity from your life because it will weigh you down like an anchor and impede your goals.
Rules I follow in coaching and life. I got into a conversation the other day about coaching. I shared with them the four rules I follow and believe they are just as effective in business and life as they are for sports.
First, I never make coaching personal. Insulting or making fun of someone is uncalled for and only ruins morale, so I refuse to do it.
Second, I focus on coaching skills rather than just outcomes. If someone misses a tackle, yelling and screaming at them isn’t helpful. Instead, I may help them with footwork or body position so that they can make the next tackle.
Third, I try to find something (even small) a player does well and build their confidence even more for that skill. Once they feel confidence in one area, my experience is that they are more comfortable learning other skills.
Finally, I am not afraid to yell and get in someone’s face if they are putting in a poor effort either physically or mentally. Regardless of ability, these two variables are always under our control and there is no excuse for not putting forth a maximum effort.
An important piece of exercise advice. As a former trainer and doctor for over 16 years, I’ve had thousands of conversations about working out. One of the more common mistakes I see is performing the same type of exercise in the exact same manner each time. For example, someone may go to the gym and do the same exercises in the same order, using the same weight, and for the same number of repetitions for every workout. The problem with this is your body likes to be as efficient as possible. Thus, when you do the same things in the same manner over and over, your body has no reason to get stronger, build endurance or lose weight.
My advice is to avoid doing the same workout twice in a row. This does not mean you must completely change everything, but I would encourage you to vary things. For example, you could do the same exercises but change the order. You could go up in weight but down in reps or you might want to do less rest in between sets. If you’re out running, walking, or cycling; you can try and go faster over shorter distances and then try a day where you go longer and slow. What you change is up to you, but when you keep it fresh, your body will react with far better results.
Some quotes I love.
“Agreeable men leave no legacy and watch from the sidelines as the world is shaped without their input. Being a yes-man and an obedient boy is a pathetic existence. Allowing your bloodline to grow weak and quiet is an insult to your forefathers.” – Ian Smith
“The right attitude very rarely leads to the wrong action.” – Tom Ziglar
“You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.”
“Set a goal. Make a plan. Stay focused. Work hard. Succeed. Stay Humble.”
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