Updated: May 4, 2020
There’s big business in being different than others.
Everyone goes fast. Make it your business to stop fast. Yep, get fast at stopping.
Today’s lesson in stopping is presented by Houston Rockets guard, James Harden.
A while back, the NBA star was given the biggest contract in NBA history. The Rockets agreed to pay Harden $170 million over four years or $228 million through the end of his contract.
Physically, Harden isn’t particularly impressive compared to his fellow NBA players. His wingspan is just above average by NBA standards. He’s not that tall, doesn’t jump especially high and can’t run all that quickly.
But a recent bio-mechanics test revealed an area where James really stands out. Harden is the fastest in the game--at slowing down.
This is why the Rockets think so much of him.
Deceleration is the skill that allows Harden to stop almost instantly from a dead run. Stopping so fast is what allows him to create enough distance from his defender to sneak off a jumper.
Marcus Elliott, is the founder and director of the Peak Performance Project, which has analyzed the bio-mechanics of hundreds of NBA players.
According to Elliott, Harden’s “eccentric force,” the force he generates when he stops his downward momentum, ranks in the 98th percentile.
“Athleticism, for me, is not being able to jump the highest or run the fastest. It’s being able to control it. I’m athletic in my own way, ” says Harden.
“I know what I’m great at and what I’m not great at—and I use it to my advantage.”
Stop being unsuccessful
The ability to stop fast is important in business, as well.
If your business is like most, your sales department can benefit from pulling out of bad deals faster. Your salespeople can get better at not calling on unqualified prospects.
Work teams can stop generating re-work and sitting in unproductive meetings.
Certainly you can get better at problem solving so that you slow down and think through the issues before trying a bunch of things that don’t work.
And I’ll bet we can get your team to stop communicating so quickly that they have to issue apologies, retractions, and refunds.
I once worked at a telecommunications company where the top salesperson, Diane, regularly walked out of the weekly sales meeting.
The boss always clucked her tongue when this happened, but she never chastised, Diane.
The meetings were way too long and quite unproductive. Everyone knew it, even the boss.
Diane had real selling to do and she got good at stopping the meeting in the way that mattered most to her magnificent sales. She developed the ability to stop attending.
Be different, be better
In today’s world, everyone goes fast. And sometimes that gets us into trouble.
Be different. Be better. Get fast at stopping.
See you when I come to town.