The future – who will get there first?

The future – who will get there first?

In business and in high performance sport there are three basic types of people.

Those who are innovative, creative, rule breakers, risk takers– leaders: people who have a vision of what’s possible and make the future theirs.

Those who watch the leaders and innovators and copy them.

Those who don’t care about the future – they just keep repeating what they do now over and over and over and over and over…

Which one are you?

The future….who will get there first?

You see these three same types of people in competition at the Olympic Games as:

  • The Gold Medalists– the ones who lead the sport to new heights – break records – do the impossible. They saw the future as a vision – saw it clearly and made it happen.
  • The Finalists– the ones who did OK but lacked the vision, energy, innovation and originality to be the best of the best.
  • The Turn Ups– the ones who were just happy being there. They usually watch what everyone else does, copy it and that way at the next Olympics they are still four years behind the field!

The same types of people turn up in every football Club in the world – Leaders, Copiers and “Just happy to be heres”.

The future is like a voyage of discovery – it belongs to whoever gets there first. And the people who get there first are not afraid to travel into uncharted waters or journey to places not on the map: they seek the unknown and undiscovered.


Difference is the key: Uniqueness is the answer:

Everyone who has excelled – in any walk of life – is different! They are a-typical. They are unique. The think and act differently, they try new ideas and occasionally, they come up with new directions and change the world. They are not “normal” – they are special.

And usually standing in their way are people who believe that it is important to be “normal”, to not be different, to do things the “right” way, to keep doing things “the way they have always been done”.

The rate of success in most organisations usually depends on who is winning the battle between these two groups: the people driving the change process and the people trying to stop it.

Which group are you a member of?


So, some more important lessons for sports coaches:

  • There are no rules. Teach people to be different, to challenge ideas, to be innovative and creative.
  • Throw away your coaching text books and “Ten Ways to be Successful” guide books – there are no rules in being successful. Don’t teach people what to think – teach them how to think.
  • Inspire people to dream. Encourage people to think differently. Then coach them on how to turn their dreams and thoughts into reality.
  • Fight hard- Everyone who is different and who challenges the way things are done now experiences resistance. Some of the greatest thinkers and philosophers and artists of all time have written about their fights with people of limited imagination and no vision. Keep fighting hard for the future you believe is possible.
  • Resist the temptation to copy successful people. It is often not what they do that made them successful but their uniqueness as people that got them to the top. By all means observe them, learn from them, listen to their ideas but…….improve on them and do it your way.

Wayne Goldsmith

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