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97 Percent of Leaders Are Shockingly Making This Critical Mistake

Jerry Seinfield 97% Of Leaders Are Shockingly Making This Critical Mistake
Your level of preparation determines the level of value you place on those receiving your product, service, art or leadership. 

On the July 16th edition of The Herd With Colin Cowherd, Colin recounted a conversation he had with Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez shockingly stated 60 percent of NFL players do the bare minimum. That’s right. With all the God-given talent they were given and all the financial incentives a pro football player has, over half give the bare minimum. They do just enough to get by.He also pointed out maybe 30 percent are committed. Finally, he said players like him, really committed and giving everything they have, are maybe 3 percent.

Colin also discussed the video above. Jerry Seinfield is a legendary performer and comedian. He tells the story of a two-year journey he took to write a single joke about Pop-Tarts! That, my friends, is commitment! Jerry would be in the top 3 percent of comedians who are really committed to their craft.

If you ask Tony Gonzalez, he would tell you 97 percent of leaders are making the critical mistake of not giving everything they have. Ninety-seven percent of leaders are not completely committed. I would agree with him because for over two decades I did the bare minimum to get by as well. In my book Timeless: 10 Enduring Practices Of Apex Leaders, I wrote a chapter titled “Apex Leaders Work Hard, Very Hard.” While discussing the work habits of the world’s greatest leaders, I also tell my personal story of wasted effort and opportunity.

Here are just some of the areas I see leaders mailing it in:

  1. Public Speaking – They just wing it, rely on old messages, and do not adequately prepare.
  2. Difficult Tasks – They put them off.
  3. Hard Conversations – They avoid them.
  4. Attitude – They say, “Why do anything today you can put off to tomorrow?”
  5. Effort – They do the bare minimum to get by. Jon Gordon, the famous author and performance coach, would say these individuals are carpenters, not craftsman.

Here is the hard truth, and once again, I speak from experience. A leader knows when he or she did not give their best. They may fool everyone else but they cannot fool themselves. A leader knows when he or she did just enough to get by. A leader knows when he or she mailed it in. A leader knows when he or she cheated their audience, company or team.

Finally, here is the hardest of truths. ,One day your audience, company or team will discover it as well. When that time comes you will lose all influence because they will know your level of preparation determined the level of value you placed on them who received your product, service, art or leadership.

You cheated them and they know it. Worse yet, you cheated yourself.

Jerry Seinfield spent two years perfecting a joke. How long are spending on your next assignment?

This article originally appeared here.

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Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.