PLAYING NOT TO LOSE, OR PLAYING FOR MASTERY?
“When someone thoroughly exhausts an experience, they can’t help but revere it.”
—Peyton Manning, from his retirement speech, 2016 (WATCH VIDEO HERE)
Peyton Manning doesn’t just love the game of football. He reveres it. We know this not because he’s played his whole life or has a Super Bowl ring. We know it because of what happened behind the scenes.
Though some may disagree when he says he wasn’t the most talented player, what we know is that whether playing for the Colts or the Broncos, he was always ready. The focus and levelheadedness he showed on the field was a result of how he spent the rest of the week—preparing with an unmatched intensity.
On the Pyramid of Mastery, level one represents the base and level six represents the pinnacle of performance and pursuit. By operating at that pinnacle, Manning accomplished something rare and special.
Examine to see where you or team members are on the pyramid and what you can do to move up and find the kind of satisfaction that can only be find in the Zen-like state of level six.
LEVEL 1—PLAYING TO NOT LOSE
The main motivator at this level is fear of being fired. People at this level will just enough to stay. It’s a dangerous and unsatisfying place to exist.
LEVEL 2—PLAYING TO CRUISE
People at this level have found and are camped out within their “safe zone.” They consistently hit the minimum requirements, but never blow away expectations. They do just enough to stay off the “naughty” list.
LEVEL 3—PLAYING TO COMPETE
On the surface, this level seems promising. The problem here is the belief that the only way to make one’s self look better is to make others look worse. They’re quick to point to circumstances and makes excuses for any loss or less-than-stellar result. When they hit a plateau, they look to others (not themselves) to do something differently to get them “unstuck.”
I like to say people at these first three levels are operating “below the line.” They’re the folks who settle for “okay” and perceive themselves as victims of their circumstances. They’re expendable on any team and individually, they’re unsatisfied with their lives. But they don’t have to stay that way.
LEVEL 4—PLAY FOR IMPROVEMENT
At this level, there’s a distinct shift because people are motivated intrinsically and no longer need an external stimulus to get better. There is no thought of seeing themselves as victims. They say, “I’m in control of my destiny. I need to adopt better beliefs and skill sets in order to improve.”
LEVEL 5—PLAY FOR THE CHALLENGE
People at this level are self-aware, but also have gained the capacity to see clearly the challenges presented by their circumstances. They can survey the field, be aware of their competition and where they fit on their team, and welcome the challenge of overcoming adversity. They might say, “I can get around this obstacle, and here’s how.”
LEVEL 6—PLAYING FOR MASTERY
Manning said he didn’t play for mastery and that he was driven by pure reverence. I’d argue the language isn’t important because whatever you call it , this level of play represents the pinnacle of a pursuit. It goes even beyond mastery. Those who operate this are set apart. In the best way possible, they don’t give a damn about what anyone else is doing. They’ve achieved a Zen-like state where their work just flows, and they don’t even see the challenges as challenges. They focus on their craft and are immersed in their belief system to the point that they don’t even acknowledge the impact of any outside factors.
Where do you or your team members fall on the pyramid? What will you do to move up?
Here’s to earning what you’re worth!
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JASON FORREST (Three time Stevie Award winner – 2016 Gold Stevie Award for Sales Coaching program of the year, 2014 Silver Stevie Award for sales training program of the year, and 2013 Gold Stevie Award for sales training or education leader of the year) is an expert at creating high-performance sales organizations through sales training programs, management training programs, and cultural awareness training. He addresses beliefs (not just behaviors) to increase sales, develop leaders, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. A sales professional at heart, Forrest believes in both the art and science of the sales process. Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on beliefs, not just behaviors.
FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP is a global leader and designer of corporate training programs, leadership training programs, and sales training programs. Forrest PG’s unique distinction and edge is its belief that true, permanent change begins from the top, transforms from the inside-out, and requires long-term coaching and accountability, rather than short-term training. Too many organizations are short-sighted regarding training and only provide one-day motivational events to entertain sales pros, giving them only short-term boosts in energy and temporary performance lifts. One-day events can be valuable for rejuvenating or jump-starting performance, but a complete training program with coaching along the way makes all of the difference. Increased sales, measurable ROI, accountability, tangible and relevant sales tools are just a few of the results of an FPG training program.