Today’s conversation relates to ‘How much is enough?’ and ‘Where do we make our biggest mistake?’
I was having dinner with a group of people that I am associated with called LA Metal. One of the most amazing groups out there, ever. I’ve gotten so much value from this group and they have a dinner every month. It was in a new location where I was the “new kid on the block.” The host actually introduced me “Jeff is the guy that makes your top your new bottom.” (ha-ha) And everyone’s eyes rolled a little, yet they were intrigued at the same time. I could see from that introduction that it was game on. Meaning that ‘well, let’s see what he’s actually got’ kind of attitude. Shortly after I saw one of the people lean in and then he said to me “What’s the biggest problem the people at the top have?”
First off, I was I thinking of him. There’s top-top, then there’s people that majority of people consider the top. For me, top-top is the .001%. Then there is the top that he plays at, which maybe is the top to many, many people and by their standard. But, I decided to take it as precisely at the level that I took it meaning, top-top. I said the biggest mistake the people at the top make is they don’t know when to stop. His eyes dropped along with his jaw to the floor. He looked at me and said “really?” I said absolutely, because at the top life can be euphoric like you’re on cloud nine. Almost like life is going too well.
When things are going too well, it’s the ultimate intoxication for the human mindset and nature. We want to go for more. Why not go for more? Why not go for more when everything is going so well? We have the wind at our back. Why not do that? What could possibly stop us?
I said to him. Well, that’s generally the time that the team has pushed very hard to get the win. And to push for more can blow a team up. Or decisions can be made on a battle fatigued mind that can end in disaster that not only ruins the conversion of the opportunity of success, but also could put the previous success into question of whether it was even deserved in the first place. It can also erode confidence in self. Plus confidence in the teams leadership. It’s really a deadly trap. Intellectually there doesn’t seem to be a reason to stop, but we HAVE to look to experience to learn some of our most important applications and lessons.
When I said that, I said that an example of that is hearing someone at the top saying that they want to come back. When I hear that I shudder because I know what they are saying. They are really saying that they want to establish a former level of performance glory commitment and comradery. They use to have it. But they don’t anymore. They want to get back to it because they are starting to feel a bit empty and don’t know what the next act is or if they have a next act. So, they think they’ll just go back to what they know. Rarely does that ever actually pan out for them.
With that it was interesting to see the reactions from the people that I was talking to in regard to answering the question. I believe they were not sure of the answer at first because I think that they were expecting the answer the question being more in line with them. They believe themselves to be at the top-top. Which they are not. They may be at the top but not the top-top. The way I would’ve answered it for them is the biggest mistake is starting without being adequately prepared for fear of not being able to convert something into success. To be able to run at the very front. Two completely different conversations
My point of sharing this for you is that there are points in our lives that we have an amazing streak of wins going for us. To realize that those streaks never last forever, doesn’t mean we are drawing the end into reality because we are mindful of that.
A lot of people believe thinking about it draws it into existence. I don’t believe that to be true, here. Really responsible prolific achievers they are always thinking about when they need to be getting out because things could be going south quickly. And everything does ultimately come to an end eventually. They are looking for the first signs of that and planning their exit. It isn’t a prophecy of a premature enactment or rushing or accelerating getting to that place where things do trail off. It isn’t like that.
And that’s the most important thing I can say to you right now is that. Knowing to keep the string alive, you pull back and rest the team. Don’t get greedy. Ride the wave. We rest the team before they need to be rested. That way we are able to, in a sense sell high and buy low.
That’s how the champions do it.