Even the Greats Don’t Make Every Shot
Invented by an entrepreneurial professor who wanted to keep his students active during the winter of 1891, basketball is a sport of maximizing your reps. Even the greats don’t make every shot. That’s why players like LeBron, Curry, Kobe, Kevin, and Shack fearlessly take every shot they can – putting aside past losses, personal strife, and the thought that they might miss. Then they do this again and again and again.
Perhaps the epitome of this craft was Michael Jordan. Sure, MJ could run fast, jump high, intimidate his opponents, and rally his team to victory; but that’s not the story. Instead, Mike’s most valuable skill was his ability to miss shots and still win. He never worried about the shot he had not taken yet or the points he was yet to put on the board. Each time MJ got a good look he took it knowing that, statistically, the more times he tried to put points on the board, the more likely he was to do so.
These are the qualities of an innovator: taking setbacks in stride because overall success is dependent on it; a person that does not allow the past to project the future. It’s for that reason I’ve taken to basketball. It’s a sport about messing things up as part of winning.
In building companies and leading teams, I have found success through a similar process to these basketball greats. You can’t win unless you keep perfecting your shot thousands of times. Trust me, you’re going to miss lots of them. But that’s not the story. If you are committed to winning – if you are fearless enough to perfect your craft – you will.