competition

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

Career lessons from “Project Runway”

“It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes,
and an even wiser man to learn from others.”

Zen proverb

When I returned from Alaska in 2008, I lived with a friend for a little while, and she made me watch a TV show named Project Runway. She didn’t really have to try too hard; I watched one episode with her, and I was hooked.

Attitude during competition (2017 Wimbledon)

This is a nice quote about attitude during competition from Garbine Muguruza, who just won the 2017 Women’s Wimbledon tournament:

“I knew she (Venus Williams) was going to make me suffer and fight for it. When I had those set points against me, I’m like, ‘Hey, it's normal. I’m playing Venus here.’ So I just kept fighting. I knew that if I was playing like I was playing during the two weeks, I was going to eventually have an opportunity. So I was calm. If I lose the first set, I still have two more. Let’s not make drama.”

Ichiro’s samurai pose (“OK, let’s fight”)

I really like this quote about Ichiro Suzuki from this espn.com article. I never thought that way as a batter or as a pitcher, but as a batter I can see how that mentality would help. It’s like you’re in a mano a mano battle with a pitcher about four times a game. I reminds me of an attitude that you need in a sport like wrestling. It also reminds me of warriors yelling “Certain Victory!” before entering into battle, or yelling “Battle!” in the movie Michael.

TWTW meaning: “The will to win”

I saw the acronym “TWTW” posted by Buster Olney this morning, and didn’t know what it meant. Turns out it means, “The Will to Win.” It was apparently coined by Ken “Hawk” Harrelson of the Chicago White Sox back in 2013. He used the term in a debate about the use of sabermetrics in sports, arguing that there was no sports acronym that could account for that.

Compete

This is a quote about “competition” from a new player drafted by the Denver Broncos.

I like this because way back when I tried out for the baseball team at Texas A&M, I was on the field with somewhere around 50-100 other guys who were trying to “walk on” to the team. On the field, standing next to all of these other guys, there was nothing special about me for the coaches to notice. But once I stepped on the pitching mound to throw batting practice, none of them could hit me. I just kept throwing fastballs for strikes against batter after batter, and nobody hit anything against me except maybe an occasional weak grounder. The pitching mound was where I competed, and I felt like I had to get these guys out to take the next step. (I also had to only throw fastballs because it was supposed to be batting practice.)

I try to transfer the same attitude to work, but I will admit, it’s different. But when a client asks me to do something, I still think of it as competition. I want to do the best work I can because (a) they pay me a lot of money, and (b) I am competing hard so they will hire me for the next gig.

(Image from the Denver Post.)

Battle!

I had the movie Michael on last night while I was preparing dinner, and when it came to this “Battle!” scene it reminded me of my friend, Jim Kimmel. We used to say “Battle!” at work from time to time, sometimes as we were about to do something, and other times for no reason at all.