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March 21, 2014 7:00 AM CDT

Black belt leadership

Full Contact Project Management

By

As this article is written, the Super Bowl is over for another year, along with the college football championships, the Olympics are upon us, March Madness is knocking at the door, and baseball is about to launch its training camps for 2014.

For virtually all athletes, there’s a secret desire to be the best. Sure, I know that most kids realize they are not going to be the best. But that doesn’t stop them from dreaming about it.

Is there a girl or boy playing ball in America who hasn’t imagined a scene in which she hits the walk-off home run or he catches a pass and scores the winning touchdown? I don’t think so! Let me re-phrase that: I hope not! It will be a sad day for our country when we are no longer a nation of dreamers or achievers.

I guess it was the Winter Olympics that really brought this home to me. It was terrific to watch those vintage video clips of the American hockey team and its improbable victory over the Soviet Union (Do you believe in miracles?).

And, I can’t get enough of watching Kerri Strug on the vault at the 1996 Olympics, when she had to land on one foot because her ankle was sprained. She stuck the landing but had to be carried off the mat by her coach. Her determination to win gave the Americans their first team gold medal ever in women’s gymnastics.

This year’s star, for me, couldn’t make it to the starting line. Maybe Olympic skier Heidi Kloser, a serious medal contender and ranked No. 4 in the world, didn’t win her event, but she was still a winner. She severely injured her leg during a training run, which left her unable to compete, so she was on crutches at the opening ceremony. For her, being an Olympian was too important an honor to not show up.

Do we still believe enough to achieve our goals and pursue our dreams? The belts for the several martial arts vary in color and sequence, but it goes something like this: white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red, brown, brown 1st degree, black 1st degree, and so on. As an individual sport, it’s all about training and discipline and persistence.

Just as martial artists are recognized by the belts they’ve earned, so is your company, in a way: the projects you’ve built, the canyons your team has bridged. As a member of MCAA, you’ve probably already earned your first black belt, and may be several up from there. What color is your belt, and what degree is your next?


About the Author

Gary Micheloni is a working project manager, speaker, author, consultant and coach. He has severals years of industry experience, including a background as a licensed general engineering contractor. For further information and insight on the Full Contact Project Management approach, write Coach Gary at FullContactTeam@gmail.com.

 

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