This is post 5/5 on the book, Above the Line. Check out previous posts in our blog.
In this post we cover 3 powerful concepts: the 10-80-10 Principle, Champions Day, and The Clicker Story. Champions Day and the Clicker Story are two great strategies you can try out with your team!
The 10-80-10 Principle
Urban talks about this principle frequently when speaking with teams and organizations. He says that 10% of your team will be guys that are fully committed to the team, self-motivated, and give everything they have at all times. This 10% is a coach's or boss' dream. These are the people that others like to be around because they bring an energy and presence that is contagious. They make others raise their performance to a higher level. They are the quintessential leaders on your team.
The 80% represents most people on your team. They are good players (or employees) but they are inconsistent at times. They can be influenced by the top 10% or the bottom 10%. These people generally do a good but they just don't have the burning desire to be elite.
The last 10% represents the bottom. This group is defiant and they resist almost everything good for the team. They may have the natural gifts to be successful, but they coast through life without any desire to fulfill their potential. They are the players (or employees) that blame and complain about everything. They try to sabotage the success of the team and bring others down with them. Urban says it's a waste of time to spend energy trying to change this group.
The leader's challenge is to bring as many up from the 80% to the top 10%. He said Tim Tebow was a master at this. Tebow would come into Urban's office before practice and say, "Let's go get an eighty today and get him into the top ten".
Can you imagine the impact of one of your players asking the coach which player(s) they need to bring to the top 10% during practice today? What kind of impact would that have on your team?
In he next chapter Urban talks about the power of belief. The OSU offices, locker rooms, etc have pictures of past great Buckeye players. These pictures serve as a reminder to current and future Buckeyes that you can achieve great things through dedication and hard work.
My alma mater, St Joe's, does a great job with this. When you walk into Hagan Arena and the Jack Ramsay Basketball Center, there are pictures of the legendary Hawks...Jameer Nelson, Mike Bantom, Cliff Anderson, Dale Hodges, Sue Moran, and many more. They also have jerseys of players that Coach Martelli and his staff have groomed and played in the NBA. This is a testament to the entire SJU community. This is such a powerful message to current and former Hawk players, especially since SJU isn't bringing in McDonald's All-Americans. Jameer, Delonte West, Dwayne Jones, Langston Galloway, and DeAndre Bembry are all guys that worked their butts off and succeeded in the NBA.
Back to the book now!
Nuggets from the 10-80-10 Principle
THINK LIKE A LEADER
"Leadership is a mindset first and a skill set second."
One of the great stories in the book came from Urban's days at Florida. In 2006, he was invited to the Final 4 by the Gators head coach Billy Donovan. Billy and his team (with future NBA players Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Al Horford, etc) were loaded and they took down George Mason in the semi finals. In the championship game they had a comfortable lead against UCLA with a few minutes remaining. Urban received a text message from the Director of Basketball operations asking him to join the basketball team in the locker room to celebrate the victory. Urban soaked in the joy and comradery of this championship team as they celebrated.
On his flight back to Gainesville the only thing on his mind was, "How can I give my team this experience?". This was the birth of Champions Day.
Champions Day is meant to give the players a taste of winning it all. It's about creating a vision, a crystal clear picture of what a championship team looks like and feels like. To do so, Urban and his staff show a video presentation of champions in a variety of sports celebrating a championship.
The video shows Joe Namath, John Madden, Tom Brady and the Patriots, Ray Lewis and the Ravens celebrating their Super Bowl victories. Lebron James and the Miami Heat (and Cavs now), Michael Jordan and the Bulls, and Doc Rivers and the Celtics. The video demonstrates the amount of work, commitment, and brotherhood it takes to win a championship. Then it shows all the teams celebrating in the locker room, a magical feeling that must be experienced. To cap off Champions Day, a guest speaker that has won a championship will share their special experience of winning it all. Prior guest included Teddy Bruschi, Tony Dungy, Bobby Knight, and Doc Rivers.
I love the idea of Champions Day. Before a championship team begins acting like one, they have to experience the vision of a championship team. Champions Day helps to clarify that vision.
Also, if you wanted to create your own Champions Day, put together some video clips of teams winning it all. Of course many of us don't have the luxury of bringing in Doc Rivers as a guest speaker, so ask a coach at your school that has won a championship to share their special experience. An honest testimony of the amount of work, commitment, discipline, and brotherhood will give your team a story they can relate to.
Nuggets from the chapter: THINK LIKE A LEADER
THE POWER OF BELIEF
Urban is crystal clear in this chapter that we must first win the battle in our mind to be elite. It's all about the power of our belief.
Below is an excerpt from this chapter...
Belief, I have come to learn, is a critical component in success. Research shows that the highest levels of performance are empowered by the deepest levels of belief. When a player practices and plays with belief, he performs faster, smarter, and better.
Why? First of all, belief creates vision. It enables you to see possibilities that others do not see. It sees not only the goal it wants to achieve, but the pathway - the effort and action - that is required to accomplish that goal. A player who believes sees himself training, practicing, performing, and achieving. He sees himself competing and winning with such powerful focus that he ignores all distractions and doubters. Because of this mental clarity, elite performers win in their minds first.
One of the best stories from this chapter was the "clicker". It was a story that deliberately built a unique bond between the players on the special teams unit. Urban called it his favorite "brotherhood builder".
In World War II, the US needed a plan to disrupt the Nazi supply channels and seize strategic positions prior to the invasion of Normandy. But the conditions were terrible - dark with heavy overcast - which made it difficult for the paratroopers that were dropped behind enemy lines to distinguish the enemy from their allies. To help them communicate their location without blowing their cover, each paratrooper was given a brass clicker. This small device gives off a distinct cricket-like sound. The strategy was to click once, then your nearby ally would click twice. If you didn't hear two clicks, then you knew it was the enemy. This was a key win for Americans and the rest is history.
To build the brotherhood among the special teams unit, each member was given a clicker, including Urban. Leading up to the big game against Alabama in the semi-final, all specials teams players were required to carry their clicker. "If you passed your brother and he clicked at you, you clicked back twice. Up and down the hallways of our hotel, at our team meals and walk-through a, guys were clicking away."
During a big moment in the second half of the Alabama game the special teams unit needed to come up big on a kickoff. Urban pulled the group together, explained the mission, and took out his clicker. He began clicking and the group went to another level of focus. They were bonded together and playing for their brothers against the enemy!
Nuggets for this chapter: THE POWER OF BELIEF