As the story goes, the legendary former coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, would start every training camp the same way. He would hold up a football and announce with great gusto, “This is a football.”
Keep in mind he was speaking to a room full of professional football players. I think I’m safe in assuming that they all had at least a passing familiarity (pun intended) with what a football looked like.
But Coach Lombardi was making a point. His point was we are going to begin with the basics because it’s the basics that will make us champions.
You may not be a professional football player but that point is as applicable to you as it was to those Green Bay Packers.
Skipping the basics, or believing your skills are so advanced that the basics no longer apply to you is one sure way to fall short of your potential.
As the year ahead comes into focus it’s a great time to review your own “basics.” What have you skipped, or simply forgotten, that used to bring you great results? Maybe you used to send thank you notes…remember those, the kind you wrote out by hand, put in an envelope and dropped in a blue box on the corner? That practice remains to this day a solid basic skill when building and nurturing relationships. Perhaps more than ever considering how rare thank you notes have become.
Maybe you skip making yourself a prioritized task list each morning. Using a prioritized task list is key to strong time management. For most people it’s not that they don’t have enough time, it’s that they lack a clear sense of priorities.
People who prioritize what they want and need to accomplish will in fact accomplish much more than the people who don’t. Even if you’ve never applied that basic skill to your life before, now would be a great time to start.
There are so many “basics” to success that I could go on forever. But instead I’ll encourage you to invest some time to think back to some of your greatest successes. What were some of the basics that helped you achieve that success? Are you still using them? If not can you say with specificity why you’re not? Or have they somehow faded away with not much thought as to why?
Consider the basics you need to be consistently successful and then go back to them. This is a great example of when “going back” is the fastest path forward to future success.
So, what are you going back to?