Win Every Day – book review

Mark Miller sells chicken. He also writes books.

Blake Brown is the main character in Mark’s High Performance series of books. Blake is a fictional business leader who teaches us principles of influence and execution through his life story. In Mark’s new book, Win Every Day, Blake learns, from his son’s high school football coach, how to lead a team to consistent quality results. Whether or not you are a sports fan, the principles in this book can help you reach your organizational goals by bringing out the best in your people.

“We will not drift to greatness.

Coach Moore reminds Blake that we must be intentional – each and every day – if we want to achieve great things. That intentionality shows up in three ways:

  • Pursue Mastery – a level of skill where the desired behavior is consistent, execution is flawless, and the behavior is second nature.

On this point, I appreciated the important distinction between pressure-filled, discouraging expectations of specific behaviors and motivating goals that inspire us to aim for desired behaviors every day.

  • Own the Numbers – visible, personally-owned metrics that keep each person accountable

This is an area that is challenging in a faith-based non-profit organization – people progress is not easy to measure. However, Blake’s story has convinced me that it is worth the effort to define markers that make a difference that each person can care about and aim for… and celebrate when reached.

  • Help Others Win – teamwork that encourages and challenges each one to give his/her best effort

Blake also learns that individual “players” do not keep up this kind of intentionally without the leader continuing to coach the process and communicate well while guarding against arrogance and complacency.

I liked the way Mark integrated simple yet powerful principles into the story. I resonated with the combination of coaching the best from people, creating helpful systems, and using metrics to measure progress towards desired goals.

“Your choices are the only things you can control.
Choose wisely.

In our crazy complex and changing world, there is little we can control… but we do make choices every day. This book is an easy-to-read, helpful reminder of basic principles that make a difference to those we lead and in our results. When we are passionate about what we do, our results matter.

How might you apply one or more of these principles as you lead or influence others?

 

looking in the wrong place

I want to do something worthwhile, valuable, important. I want to leave a legacy. In an earlier post, I wrote about my discouragement and concern that I hadn’t left the culture change legacy that I wanted in the organization. Over time, the organization took on a different look, a different personality, and I felt like a failure…
Where was the legacy?

The other day, I was processing this struggle with my husband. The more we talked, the more I came to realize that I was looking for the legacy in the wrong place. I wanted an environment, procedures, and structures to display our influence after we were gone.

I think now that the organization simply provided the “front” for the work we wanted to do; it would not be my source of legacy. I believe I find my legacy in the people I worked for and worked with, in the changed lives – nurtured, grown, changed, empowered, hope-filled… in the environment we built to work from.

Perhaps the “temporary” place we created was never intended to last forever – maybe we built it as much for us as for others. It served an important purpose for a time. It provided a context for us to work out our calling… while we were there.

I am not really very concerned about turning organizations around. I do want to bring a positive influence, and I do hope to lay a path that makes it easier for others to follow. I think that I am more passionate about turning lives around. And that, thankfully, I did get to do from my leadership position.

Some of those changed lives will lead to generations of change. Many will use their influence to create and multiply environments where others can grow. Their changed lives mean changed families and changed businesses, and contribute to changed cities… and eventually a changed world! I feel more encouraged with my search… maybe my legacy is not so quickly and easily visible, but it is definitely a legacy that was worth the effort.

Where do you want to leave a legacy? Are you looking in the right place?