Sep 22, 2015

Unlearning to Quit

I woke up this morning to a post that really made me wonder, what are people thinking?! This morning, 9/22/15, is the morning following the end of the 2nd week of the new 2015-2016 National Football League (NFL) season. Here’s the title of the post I saw, “Which of the eight NFL teams with an 0-2 record can still make the playoffs?” Among those on the 0-2 list were 3 of the last 4 Super Bowl Champions.

What bothered me about the post, and especially the title, was how quickly the author was giving up on the 0-2 teams and writing R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) beside their names. The underlying thought he may not even know he’s teaching people is how to easily quit when the odds are against you. Now, I realize that the post and title are purposely designed to draw attention so that they get read. But, what is the signal to people with this type of thinking? Here are a few of my suggestions:

  • “If you don’t start as winner, then give up. The stats are against you.” (Only 11% of 0-2 teams make it to the playoffs)
  • “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” (W.C. Fields)
  • “Only the best and most talented succeed”

    Can you imagine the people you work with having this attitude? Maybe, more than imagining, you’ve experienced it:

  • A Sales Manager to a new salesperson – “You didn’t close either of your first two presentations, which means that I’m already looking for your replacement.”
  • A manager to a new staff member – “Your first two new ideas haven’t worked, so there’s no need to try anymore. Your chances of success are too low.”
  • Anyone to their self – “I’m 0-2 on _______. I’m just not cut out to be doing this.”

    Yes, there are the stats and people love to say, ‘Numbers don’t lie.’ So, what? So, what if 89% of the 0-2 teams won’t make it to the playoffs?! What about the exception to that rule of the 11% that do? And, you don’t want to be the “rule”, the average, the mediocre, do you? You want to be the exception to the rule. Beyond that, you want to be EXCEPTIONAL! Being exceptional starts within your own mind, because, before you can practice your skill more, before you can think like a champion of your trade, you have to believe in who you are and that you will not to accept mediocrity!

    If you’re believing, thinking, feeling, and acting like the average, the usual, the run-of-the-mill 89% of the 0-2 teams of the NFL, now is the time to change. Become the exceptional 11%! Break the rules. Tap into your internal resourcefulness and points of personal power. Beat the odds through shear focus, determination, and clarity of the goal! Unlearn how to quit!

    Dr. Edward Lewellen is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.

    Author of The 90-Second Mind Manager