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Widely considered the best NFL quarterback of all time, Joe Montana personifies performance excellence and personal integrity both on and off the field. Yet the word most closely associated with him is not “winner”–it’s “leader.” Since his retirement a decade ago, he has become a popular motivational speaker sought out by corporations nationwide, speaking to capacity audiences as large as twenty thousand. Now making his message available to a broader audience, Montana teams up with performance coach Tom Mitchell to extend to all areas of life the truths of success on the field. The Winning Spirit shows that ultimately performance excellence is fueled by personal integrity. This is the key to winning the inner game, which is about accountability and attitude, as well as desire, enthusiasm, effort, and appreciation. For example: • Know What You Want: First, identify goals, then turn clarity into action. • Strive for Excellence: Surpass expectations and reach new heights • Fail Fast and Move On: Take chances, learn from mistakes, and keep pressing forward–don’t let fear or regret take you out of the game. • Remember the “I” in Team: Make yourself the priority–because intense preparation is the individual responsibility of each member of the team. • Welcome Pressure: Want to be the best? Work with or compete against the best! • Walk Like a Champ: Your life is not just about achieving success, but also about having a purpose and creating significance. With great stories and practical strategies, Joe Montana and Tom Mitchell give us hard-won advice based on years of success. This timely and timeless message is nothing less than a contemporary motivational classic.
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The same time-tested principles that underpin success in professional sports also work equally well in the family and business environments. To win consistently, you've got to develop a winning spirit based on a foundation of preparation, optimism, attention to detail, enduring setbacks, personal responsibility, honesty, loyalty and integrity. The great thing is there is no magic formula when it comes to developing a winning spirit. Instead, you have to work hard, prepare for success on a daily basis and do everything that's required consistently well. It's a regime that can be learned, and once integrated becomes self-perpetuating and contagious.
“Competitive sports are one of the best preparations for life, reflecting, as they do, the highly competitive nature of the world around us. I never wanted anyone on my team who didn't passionately care about rising above the competition—and winning. If winning wasn't important, people wouldn't keep score. Like it or not, we live in a world that keeps score.”
“Walk like a champ. This statement is not symbolic or hopeful. To walk like a champion, you must think like a champion. You must feel like a champion. You must search, dig, fight, explore, ask succeed, and fail, until you know beyond a doubt the winning spirit lives inside you. Take that walk.”
Performance excellence never happens in isolation. Rather, it is the result of careful preparation and a deliberate effort to ready yourself for optimal performance. To prepare well, find what works best for you and then keep doing that day in and day out. In the world of preparation, repetition is king because it delivers a sense of mastery and self-confidence. The foundation for your own road map to performance excellence is to prepare consistently and well.
Identify your goals clearly and concisely. Clarity is power, but clarity put into action is achievement. It's vital that you identify what you want so you know what to prioritize and how to direct your energies.
Paradoxically, you achieve more in life by subtracting than you ever do by addition. In other words, the more you can eliminate the distractions and what doesn't work for you individually, the more quality time you have to focus on what you need to do and master to become successful. Clarity helps you concentrate and get more out of the practice time that is available.
With this in mind, you should be able to give a very concise answer when someone asks: “What do you really want from life?”To be able to answer this question honestly will take work, time and effort on your part, but this is vital. If you can't answer that question in fine detail, how will you know what to do or whether you're making sound progress? You won't even be able to feel very confident about what you're doing until you've taken the time and effort to clarify where you want to be.
There is usually a direct link between what you like and what you're pretty good at. If you're not yet sure what you want to go after, looking closely at what you're already good at may provide some worthwhile clues and hints. Once you have this clarified, you can then focus like a laser on your chosen area of specialization. That clarity can unleash a genuinely impressive and powerful driving force. At this stage, repetition becomes you closest ally. You can practice again and again everything that is required to perform in your chosen area of specialization with confidence and skill.
“Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge. If this is true, let's make the time and spend the energy to engage our imaginations and begin to see what it is we want to do and where we want to go. Let's not allow our limited thinking（or anyone else's, for that matter）to put us in a box or place a ceiling above us. Let's utilize the power of clear thinking, as well as imagination, to help us successfully accomplish our greatest dreams.”
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