I was excited to visit the US on a sports diplomacy trip to learn and develop the content related to Inclusive Coaching for SG-Coach’s formal coach education. The trip was organized by the US Department of State, SportCares, SportSG and FHI 360.
Looking back on the trip, two things stood out. The first would be the new friendships forged. With those that I’ve known prior to the trip, we grew closer and renewed our commitment to make Singapore a more inclusive society.
Secondly, I am so thankful to be given the chance to learn from the many successful American sports teams, schools and non-profit organizations such as Cincinnati Football Club, US Paralympic Swimming, University of Texas Swimming and Dive Team, Starfire Council, Special Olympics Texas and The Play for All Abilities Park.
“What is their formula for their success?”
“What makes these organizations achieve the seemingly impossible?”
Success leaves clues and these were questions that I needed answers to. This post is a reflection about the fundamental commonalities that make these organizations successful.
The 3 + 1 Step Formulae for Success
1. Start With a Strong (not necessarily big) Intention
The Play for All Abilities Park at Round Rock Texas started off with a parent’s desire to build a wheelchair accessible swing so that her child could have fun like the other children. It has now morphed into a 51,000 square feet of outdoor fun for children of all abilities!
There is a difference between deciding and wanting. When you decide, you are acknowledging the price you are gonna pay, and also the possibility that you might not achieve your goal. But, you’re gonna do whatever it takes anyway!
2. Focus on taking Small Continuous Steps and Improvement
When you focus on small steps and progressively doing better and better, you are inevitably focusing on the process and what you can control.
Want to know when you are not focused on the process? When you are whining about how things ought to be, must be and should be! It’s important to develop awareness and refocus back on the process when that happens.
3. Build Win-Win Relationships.
Positive relationships have a multiplier effect especially on your efforts to raise funds and to scale your operations. It drives word of mouth marketing and helps to sustain your organization even in hard economic times. Specifically, if you have built a solid relationship with your partners back in time, they will still help with you out albeit in a smaller way.
Special Olympics Texas is a great example. It has an established network of donors and volunteers that not only keeps the whole organization sustainable, it also helps them continue to grow and thrive!
We should start getting help by aligning with persons or organizations with similar goals. Think about how they too can benefit by helping us out. Sometimes, you’ve also got to remind them about how they will lose out if they choose not to partner you 😉
+1. Remember your ‘Why’ and Let go of the Outcome
The is more of a philosophy or way of thinking rather than a specific to-do step. We’ve to believe in our cause, i.e., why we do what we do, and know that some changes may not happen in our lifetime.
In fact, our dream may not even materialize or take the form that we expect. But, that’s ok! Having the opportunity to pursue a goal that’s meaningful and bigger than ourselves is a privilege itself. Besides, happiness is a by-product of a purposeful life.
“You have the right to work, but for the work’s sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. The desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working.” The Bhagavad Gita
If we can apply these three steps and remind ourselves of our Why, there may come a tipping point where our continuous efforts snowballs and we become the successful organizations that we had modelled after.
This trip was definitely unforgettable (including my 3-hour detention at immigration). Not only was it a learning experience but it was also a fun and relaxing break for me!
p.s. If all these 3 + 1 Steps rings a bell, yes, it’s pretty much aligned with Stoicism and Process Focused Coaching too!