Part 2: Discovery Here is Part 2 of my five-part “Unleash Your Potential” blog series. If you missed Part 1, click here.
Discover (verb): to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown).
Discovery. It’s the ability to dig deep into yourself and others to gain knowledge and awareness. Gregg Popovich, coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, is one of the most successful coaches in the game today. With his unconventional style, he has led the San Antonio Spurs to four NBA championships. In a pro sports league where coaches and superstars come and go, Popovich has established a culture of consistent success in San Antonio, where he enters his 17th season as head coach. What most people say differentiates him from other coaches beyond the X’s and O’s is his ability to connect with his players, build authentic relationships and push the right buttons. The simple word for this is discovery.
When I keynote, I often talk about discovery from business development perspective—how to uncover the gaps in the lives of those around you so that you can in turn determine if and how you can deliver value. But when we think about it in terms of unleashing our potential and that of those around us, discovery is about the desire to constantly learn and continuously look for ways to improve. Popovich believes it is important to know his players as more than just basketball players. While tough business decisions are made every day by teams, Popovich doesn’t take the transactional approach that many head coaches succumb to. He genuinely values the relationships. He is a lifelong learner and it is a value he imparts on his players. He challenges them to be MORE than just basketball players. What other coach is known to have handed players DVDs of a presidential debate? Or can discuss Argentinian politics and political conspiracies with guard Manu Ginobili while chatting with Serbian players in their native language? This desire to discover the interests, drives and passions of his players creates a rare player-coach connection, with high levels of trust and mutual respect.
It may seem counterintuitive, but Popovich’s ability to be so demanding of his players is rooted in their belief that he genuinely cares about them as people. The best leaders are passionately curious and lifelong learners. They continuously discover things about themselves, their team members and their organizations that fuel progress. Popovich challenges everyone, every single day… himself included.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
I challenge you to look into your world and see if you can identify your gaps and the gaps in the lives of those around you. Then use this knowledge to continue to grow and improve in these areas.
Molly Fletcher helps inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.