10 Lessons from Volleyball

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

10 Lessons from Volleyball

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I've played volleyball for over 25 years. I have traveled around the US to watch the pros live - both indoor and outdoor. I have even gotten to train with a couple of the greats (like Misty May and Karch Kiraly). There are at least 10 lessons I have learned in volleyball that work in business.

The first lesson is to understand Team Work. Volleyball teams range from 2 to 6 players. The team has to work as a unit in order to win. Everyone has to know what their position and role is. Some players have to cross-train for other positions, like setting. How often to we even talk about a department or a company as a team?

Every team has a coach. The best CEO's have coaches. It is important to have a coach, mastermind group or mentor in order to steer your success.

TopGrading is a hiring process to recruit and on-board "A" Players. This is a way to build a world class or best of breed team. Ask any pro team if talent isn't important to winning. Learn to pick top talent. (Topgrading is just one method for that.)

Here is the thing about top players: "A" players make everyone better. When Karch Kiraly was on the US Indoor Volleyball Olympic team, no matter which practice squad he was on, they would win. Your best employees should make the organization better. Think about the best sales person or developer: How do they prepare for their day, their meetings, their projects? PREPARATION. No winging it. They plan and prepare to win. The "A" players are an example of preparation and attitude that others can follow.

The best players work on their skills. They practice. (Others see them practice, too.) In sales, if you increase your prospecting or your closing, you sell more. In programming, do you do Pairing or some other activity that will allow you to sharpen your skills? You don't get paid for your time in most cases; you get paid for your value - your value to the organization. Work on yourself, so you won't get picked last.

Karch has a rule: It's called "Better the Ball". No matter what, with every contact of the ball in the play, leave the ball in a better position for your partner to make a play. Every contact, better the ball. Such simple advice. How does that apply to business? Stephen Covey said to leave this place better than you found it. Same thing. Better the Ball - don't bitch, complain, moan, blame.

This is the first 5 lessons from the ten. More tomorrow.

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