3 Powerful Ideas

Simple lessons to help your team

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Now, onto Issue 60.

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3 Powerful Ideas

Today, I want to share three ideas I’ve been thinking about lately.

They’re simple and powerful (though not easy).

Let me know which one resonates with you the most.

Here we go:

1. Constant Forward Motion

My buddy, an accomplished ultra-endurance athlete, has a mantra I love:

"Constant forward motion"

In a race, it doesn't matter:

  • how you feel

  • what's happening

  • what others are doing

  • the current circumstances

  • bad luck you may be facing


When the race gets difficult, simply focus on maintaining forward motion. Even if it’s the tiniest step imaginable. 

A few other examples of this idea:

Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Psalm 23:4 says, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.”

Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way."

It’s everywhere once you start looking for it.

An important nuance: “constant forward motion” doesn’t imply putting blinders on and mindlessly barreling forward like a battering ram. There are times to pause, assess and adjust.

Once you do, continue on.

2. Keep Showing Up

I was talking with a friend and former college athlete the other day about the idea of “failing your team.”

Many of you probably relate to that – the fear of letting people down. I know I do.

There’s an important lesson here:

  • Struggling is not failing

  • Making mistakes is not failing

  • Having a hard day is not failing

There’s no “perfect” person or teammate. Nobody expects you to be that.

You only “fail your team” if you quit – if you decide to stop showing up.

This is a general lesson. Apply it to your personal context.

Whatever pursuit you’re on in life, there will be good days, tough days and all kinds of days.

Keep showing up through it all. 

3. Team > Teammate > Self

I see many posts on social media these days that push a self-centered message. 

Things like:

Toot your horn. Praise your own success. Champion yourself. Highlight your accomplishments. Tell “them” what you’re worth. Get what you “deserve.” Etc…

Most of the time, I think these messages have good intentions.

But there’s also a fundamental problem in them: The thinking is backwards from how the best teams operate.

The best units operate in this order (in my experience):

Team > teammate > self.

They understand the mission is priority. They know they can accomplish nothing alone. They believe serving the team will bring out the best in them.

And what happens when an individual’s best is brought out of them every day? They achieve their goals.

I played college baseball. 

My junior year at North Carolina, we had four future major leaguers on our team. But we didn’t collectively operate in the correct order, and therefore achieved far less than we could have.

So, yes, be your own advocate.

But don’t confuse the order in which you should operate.

Nothing before the team, and others before yourself.


Okay, those are three ideas I’ve been thinking about lately.

  1. Constant Forward Motion

  2. Keep Showing Up

  3. Team > Teammate > Self

I hope they resonate and help you and your team.

I’d love to hear from you

That’s it for this week.

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See you next Sunday.