Updated: Dec 18, 2018
Inch by inch, its a cinch, but life by the yard is hard.
This is my second post in the "6 Life Lessons From a Hall of Fame Coach" series, paying tribute to Larry Haylor. Inspired by LinkedIn's blog to #ThankYourMentor, I'm sharing the principles I learned from Larry and how they have influenced my life. When followed they will yield success for anyone who embraces and applies them.
Lesson #2: Get 1% Better Every Day
Early in the season Larry would assess the capabilities of the team, identify where we needed to grow, and begin working with the other coaches to maximize the team’s ability to reach its potential. During these early season practices he would remind us of the “1% better every day” principle.
Larry didn’t focus on the season outcome - which could have been a desired record, playoff expectations or even a championship result. Instead he focused each person inward – on what we were doing to improve today. He did this by asking us, “What if each of you got just 1% better every day? How much better do you think we could be collectively? Make it your goal to constantly improve, continue growing and get 1% better every day. If you do that, I guarantee our team will be stronger and more prepared than any other team as a result.”
"Make it your goal to constantly improve, continue growing and get 1% better every day." - Larry Haylor
In application, this principle is exactly what Darren Hardy writes about in his New York Times bestselling book, The Compound Effect. It shows how small, incremental changes applied consistently over time add up to exponential gains. This is exactly what Larry taught; building within us a desire for growth, not perfection.
In recent years I have learned how vital discipline is to achieving small, incremental progress every day. How many times have I told myself, “I’ll do it tomorrow”, and failed to follow through. Too many times to count. It’s only when I discipline myself and do something today, and each day afterward that I begin to see the results. When that pattern of disciplined behavior occurs over time, keeping the momentum going becomes easier and the results significantly better.
Assess yourself and apply this lesson:
Do you feel you get 1% better every day?
What small change have you made recently that will help you get 1% better?
Where can you commit to getting 1% better today, and every day forward?
What do you think of this lesson? Add a comment, like and/or share this post, and join the conversation to #ThankYourMentor. In my third post I'll focus on Larry's favorite quotation and how it helped me go beyond fear.