Daily Dose of Coach #431: Raising the Bar

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others...its the only thing." Albert Schweitzer

In the book The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Steven K. Scott, the author tells a story about his daughter that shares a small but important truth about raising the bar, setting an example, and the impact it can have on a group of people.

The story goes like this:

"A family friend asked his daughter, 'What are you going to be when you grow up?'

She replied, 'The first woman on the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.'

The friend laughed and gave her father a nudge. The author told his daughter to explain to the friend how she was going to do it.

'Daddy says when we have a dream, we need to convert it into specific goals. So my goals are to become the best fielder and hitter on my softball team.

He says you then have to convert your goals into steps; so my steps are to practice fielding each day and hitting once a week.

He says that we then have to convert our steps into tasks; so Dad has to come home every night by six to play catch with me and take me to the batting cage on Saturdays."

The book explains that though his daughter never quite made it on the Phillies roster, she got so much better that her coach inquired what she was doing.

She gave him the exact steps she gave her family friend. The coach told all of the other girls on the team what she had been doing, and the other girls began doing the same.

What happened was that their team went from the worst team in the league, having zero wins in their first season, to winning the championship with an undefeated record the next season.

These were the same girls with the same coach. The only difference is someone raised the bar on the team, lead by example, and showed the other girls how to get it done.

Gain a vision for what you want to achieve. Figure out the small steps and tasks you need to do achieve it. Then be the example your team needs to see. Raise the bar. Share with them how you are improving and invite them to join you.

You may not ever get a chance to be on the Phillies roster; maybe you will! But you can be confident that attempting could make you and everyone around you that much more successful.