Championship Level Decision Making - Work In Sports Podcast

Hey, everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning for and this is the Work In Sports podcast…

Welcome to 2020 people!!

December has been an awesome month, but I’ve missed all of you. Letting you behind the curtain a bit, December is one of the slowest months for the podcast, and for our business at large… but January is the biggest month of the year for us as a company.

Makes sense right? People setting new goals for themselves, striving for something better in their life, so they go to our job board looking to find that job they’ve always dreamed of and start anew. They gravitate towards our podcast to set the stage for all they want out of themselves in the coming year...I love this time of year!

But before we get to 2020 -- I love December from a family perspective, my kids have been home from school for the last 2 weeks and we all hung out together which was awesome. I have a 7th, 6th and 2nd grader, so you can imagine Christmas and the holiday season is a pretty big deal.

From a business perspective, December is huge for us -- we spend the month planning and organizing our approach to the coming year. We set company goals, discuss new features and brainstorm concepts for the podcast and more. This is always an exciting time because I’m someone that likes to push forward, I’m never really content. 

I don’t have any major announcements today since our ideas to better our product aren’t completed yet… but let me tell you, it’s going to be awesome. As for the podcast. Yes, there are new ideas in the works thatI’m excited about… but one thing I can tell you is that I have a goal to double up in January. 

Normally I do about 4 interviews a month and release them every Monday. Well, I want to kick off January like a boss… so I’m going 8 this month, starting with Philadelphia Phillies Mental Skills Coach Hannah Huesman on Monday. 

I can’t even tell you how pumped I am about this interview.  Hannah is awesome. Like straight up, blow me away awesome. I think she may be one of our best and I hope to have her on more in the future. 

Also coming up this month -- 

  • Sloane Kelley USTA Managing Director of Content and Creative Services
  • Celia Bousa Director of ESPN Next which is their leadership development program
  • Ishveen Anand, CEO of Open Sponsorship, a tech platform bringing athletes and brands together
  • Sam Ray, San Diego Padres Manager of Amateur Scouting
  • Timothy Duncan, University of New Orleans Athletic Director

And then two more that aren’t fully confirmed yet so I can’t say… but are fingers crossed, awesome. 

But all that excitement is for another on a rare Friday episode of the Work In Sports podcast, I have a topic I’d like to cover. 

I saw Frozen 2 with my kids over the break, which strangely enough has inspired this conversation… 

Let it go

Yes I know that’s from the first Frozen movie, but seeing frozen 2 reminded me of it, and Frozen 2 was kind of OK, so less inspiring to say the least. 

What I mean is, I want to talk about the things you can’t control (i.e. let it go) 

That is my last reference to the movie. 

In my 20s I was a control freak, but it was all a mirage. In my 30s I became disillusioned with the people around me, and I let it control me. In my 40s I realized the only thing I can control is myself and my reactions to the things around me. 

I choose how to feel and how to respond, but I don’t choose how others behave. 

I’ll explain this through the comments of one of our posters on the Work In Sports podcast private group on Facebook. 

They will remain nameless, and I am surely not here to shame them, rather I hope to enlighten a bit. 

They are frustrated, they’ve been on the full-time job search for a while and in the meantime they’ve been working part-time and seasonal jobs. Everytime this person posts, they voice their frustration with all the co-workers around them.

They are always on their phones, they mislabel the work, they leave early, they perform poorly. 

It eats this person up. 

This was me in my 20-30s. I was always angry at others who I didn’t think tried as hard as I did. Or didn’t execute the plans I set, or follow my guidance. 

It consumed me. 

Now think about this for a second, if you spend your time thinking about how other people do their work, or how disappointed in them you are -- how do you think this affects your demeanor?

I remember having a co-worker say to me one day, “what is wrong with you? You seem tense and angry all the time, and you used to be a positive light around here.” 

As they said it -- I relaxed the muscles in my shoulders and realized they dropped about an inch. 

I was carrying so much doom with me every day, focused on everyone else,  and it was affecting my ability to do my job and live my life. 

In life and in work, you can’t control others. You can instruct, you can set up for success, you can mentor -- but if the others don’t take to it, you either have the power to react and possibly fire them, or you don’t have that power and you have to let it go. 

You can’t control others. You can’t. Let it go. Focus on you.

If your every interaction with your boss is to complain about someone else, that is not good. 

To put this in a very pop-culture terminology… when you’re watching The Bachelor and the dudes keep spending all their one-on-one time with the object of their affection talking about the ass hat who acts like a jerk to them when the pretty girl isn’t looking… don’t you want to shake them and say “forget about the other dude and focus on the lady you are with!” 

This is the mistake we all make, getting consumed with things we can’t control.

You can’t control someone deciding to hire you. You could be the perfect candidate… but they might have an internal staffer they want to promote. You can’t control that!

You can only control how you react to it. 

You can’t control whether or not you get a callback, or whether or not someone responds to your LinkedIn request, or whether or not your tweet goes viral. 

You can’t control those things. 

You can control your actions, what you do to prepare and to set yourself up for success. But you can’t control what happens next. 

I watch sports much differently than I did when I was younger.   I focus more now on the decisions, rather than results. Why? Because you may win a game making bad decisions, but you won’t win a championship if you continue to make them. 

Picture a basketball game 20 seconds left, down by 2, and an offensive player comes down and chucks up a deep 3 ptr with a man in their face, with 18 seconds left on the clock. 

Bad decision. 

I don’t need to see the result. They may make the shot putting their team ahead by one, the other gets the ball with 16 seconds left… and may miss. They may win the game. BUT it was a bad decision and made repeatedly will result in bad things. 

The should have wasted more of the clock so that their opponent didn’t have time to respond. They should have worked the ball for a clearer look. 

The result was a win, but the initial decision was poor. These are not championship level decisions. 

So ask yourself, what are your championship level decisions. Is it to complain about the people around you? Is it to become consumed by the things you can not change?

Or… is it to study the marketplace you want to work in, know exactly what employers want and expect out of their hires and make a plan to master those skills. 

  • Is it to build your network, reach out, make contact, provide value, build relationships. 
  • Is it to treat people like you are interested in them, not just seeing them as a pathway to a future you want for yourself.  
  • Is it to research companies, refine your resume, master your cover letter.

I believe it is. And you can control all of these things. 

These are the decisions you can control. Don’t wait for luck, don’t waste your energy or positivity on the things you can’t control. Focus on you, your actions, your reactions and then things you can control. 

Trust me, things will fall into place when you do - when you let go of results and focus on the positive process.

Ok, that’s it for today… like I said… Hannah Huesman, Philadelphia Phillies Mental Skills Coach coming up on MONDAY! That’s right, MONDAY! A Special edition.

Now get back to work people - it’s a new year and time to kick some ass. 

By Brian Clapp | January 02, 2020
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