Lessons from Basketball

2013 basketballMy mentor Orrin Woodward was home for the summer and he sent me a text asking if I wanted to play basketball.  As some of you who follow my blog know,  I had given up playing because I can’t stand to be bad at something and when I am bad I will want to practice a lot and, aint nobody got time for that!   Needless to say, if your mentor wants to play basketball then basketball it is.  Now I used to play a lo,t but as I said I had stopped playing but it sounded like a good workout if nothing else.  My thoughts were,  I will die on the court if we play one on one or even two on two, so I tried to find four other guys who would be willing to come and torture themselves for a few days before Orrin heads back to Florida.  Through building their Life Leadership Business’s we happen to have a lot of people who are free from their jobs that could play.  FYI:  I highly recommend getting yourself free so you can really enjoy life and all the beautiful days of summer in Michigan.  I rounded up Steve Morgan, Kirk Birtles, Holger Spiewak, and Aron Radosa.  Now Orrin,Steve,Kirk and myself used to play but Aron and Holger have not played much, so we decided to have the Policy Council,  me, Orrin, and Holger, who are also the three oldest players on the court, versus the Band of Brothers, Steve, Kirk, and Aron.  For people who don’t get sarcasm that would be a friendly jab at our competitors :).  We were older but we also had a little bit of a height advantage,  with me obviously bringing down our average height. IMG_1182          IMG_1183 So the stage was set for what might be some of the ugliest basketball you could watch, but you never know what’s going to happen when a group of people who love to win and hate to lose play each other.  The first game was on Thursday morning and it was supposed to be just a fun pick up game.  The PC team came out well and won all three games.  We would then go sit with Orrin for a while to get some good nuggets to help build our business.  That was the main reason we were there anyways.  If you ever have a chance to hang out with someone who has more success then you,  it’s a good idea to take advantage of that.  We did get our good nuggets but we didn’t know what was about to happen.  We asked the guys if they wanted to switch up teams for our Thursday contest but they said,”No way!”  That was when I knew this might become a war.  Sure enough on Thursday the BoB came out in force.  They had come up with a great PDCA and won two of the three games that day.  Well, as you know the PC does not like losing either, and we had two days to come up with our next PDCA.  The funny part about this, we had a very important business meeting Tuesday, after this last defeat, and as soon as I walked in the room Orrin said, “You know what we need to do…..” My response was, “That is exactly what I was thinking and what if we did…..”  Neither one of us was talking about this huge business roll out that we were about to explain.  The next match we won two straight and the match after that they won two consecutive games.  It was interesting that the team that lost would make the PDCA’s and then go on to win the next round.  The stage was set, the PC had a three to two series lead and we could close the door or the BoB would force a seventh day match.  The BoB came out on fire, intense, and determined.  They won the first game 11-2.  We couldn’t wait until the day after to make a PDCA, so we made some adjustments right on the spot.   Our main adjustment was our focus and intensity and that allowed us to win the next game 11-2.  That last game was the best of all the games we played.  The BoB pulled out into an early lead but the PC ( old guys ) came back to within one point of victory.  At that moment Kirk’s calf muscle totally gave out, and he couldn’t even walk.  Needless to say we had to stop the match and wait until next summer.         See Orrin Woodward’s blog for more detail on what happened in the matches. This may have been one of the funnest sporting events I have been involved in.  So many lessons and so much fun is to be had when you associate with champions.  Let me give you a few of the key things I noticed and how you can apply them to life.   1.  PDCA -It was awesome to see this process unfold and how effective it can be.  We all have done it before even if it was unconsciously, but we need to learn how to force it into our business thoughts.  I think that is the main issue with PDCA, not that people don’t know how but they don’t take the time to stop and think.  We are so programmed to be in motion instead of effective motion.  Abraham Lincoln said he would spend more time sharpening the axe and then get to work so he would be more effective.   2.  How winners respond – Neither team ever came across like they just stunk, they couldn’t win, or be mad at the other team.  They were upset at the loss, but they didn’t take it personal.  They just thought through what they needed to do to adjust.  So many people don’t move forward because they compare their loss to someone else who just PDCA’d and had a victory.  Are you whining or winning?  Winners may feel down but they don’t stay down.  The saying is you can’t drown in one foot of water unless you stay face down in it.  3.  Importance of associating with champions – I have had a good amount of success, success training, and get to associate with some top notch winners, but being part of these matches has made me feel better and want to go win in other areas also.  If it can make me feel that way, what can it do for you?  Any time you have a chance to associate with someone who is farther in life then you, don’t just say yes; be the first one there and the last one to leave.  Orrin said it best today, “Most success nuggets are caught not taught.”  That means you will always learn something when you are associating with winners.  4. The score board never lies – If we lost a match it didn’t matter how well we thought we played.  The score said we lost and that means we need to adjust something.  In sports we are forced to recognize the score board, but in life it is easy to not pay attention to it.  Figure out a way to measure what you want to improve and then fight to make those improvements.   I want to end by saying thank you to Orrin and how blessed I am to be associated with all the winners that I had a chance to experience this with.  You all will go down as some of the best leaders in the history of business.  Life Leadership is going to impact society. Bill Lewis

 

12 thoughts on “Lessons from Basketball

  1. Wow, can’t wait to be on the court with you boys! The PDCA is so powerful I am learning to apply this principle to everything! The real kicker for me us to even PDCA the victories as well! I love the men on this team that lead like true rascals! Thank u gentlemen New Mexico is in the hunt now! And yes it’s an official state! And yes it’s in the United States! We will lead from the front we are all in and we have the PC’s backs on this end!
    We will throw our hearts over the bar! Love u guys

    Derrick (Blue)

  2. Great post Bill! It’s amazing how much you can learn about success in LIFE, from some simple pick-up basketball games with a few friends who just so happen to be champions as well! Thanks for sharing, kb

  3. Thanks for sharing Bill! Great story and great lessons. Maybe next year you can have some fans in the stands? I for one would love to watch these games, until of course, the day that I am playing in it comes! BBNQ

  4. Bill – Thanks for sharing, amazing how even a pick up game of basketball can teach us if we are willing to learn! Looking forward to tomorrow night.
    Titi

  5. It’s awesome to be associated with people who want to win in life and are willing to strive to get better no matter what they are doing. This article is a great example of the process winners go through to win,and it’s great knowing the leaders we get to associate with are striving to win in all 8F areas of their lives; Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, Friends, Freedom, Following and Fun. Sounds like this was definitely in the Fun area, even if it was to the detriment of Birtles’ Fitness short term ;-).

  6. Thanks for the post Bill. The best part of the LIFE business is that the principles that I am learning can be applied in all areas of my life, even a simple game of basketball. There’s something really special about information that can change things for the better, all the way from a game of basketball to a government that listens to it people once again! Kurt

  7. “Effective motion” as you mentioned. Busy, busy, busy. Most everyone is so busy these days. The question is, what are u busy doing? That is one of the great things I have learned from this incredible community of leaders. Stay busy doing the things that move you forward (toward your goal). Breaking some bad habits is not always easy, but very worthwhile if you want better results. Thanks for the great post & keep them coming. I’m sure K.B will be ready for next years games.

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