By Lindsay Preach
JW Way #7- Honor Commitments- Do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it. If a commitment can't be fulfilled, notify others early and agree upon a new commitment to be honored.
Pat Riley is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches of all time. He served as the head coach of five NBA championship teams, was an NBA All-Star head coach 9 times and is currently the President of the Miami Heat. He has won championships as a player, coach and executive.
In 1986, when Riley was coaching the Los Angeles Lakers, they were known as "the best team in the history of basketball". Surprisingly that year, they ended up stumbling and not making it to the championship. Riley was tired of hearing about how much talent and promise his team had. He wanted a team that played consistently great, which lead him to create a program called the Career Best Effort Program (CBE), a program based on a player's commitment to improve and play to their full potential.
The way he structured this program was that when a player joined the Lakers, their stats would be tracked all the way back to high school. This allowed the coaching staff to obtain an accurate idea of what a player can actually do, and how they have improved over time. Players were then given an improvement plan in which it is a requirement to improve their averages by 1% over the course of the season. If they succeeded, it would be a career best effort, which was each player's goal to achieve.
This was not merely about points or statistics, but giving your "best effort spiritually and mentally and physically." When this program was executed, eight months later, the Lakers were NBA Champions. The following year, they won again becoming the first team in 20 years to win back-to-back championships.
Why did this program work so well?
My opinion is because each player honored their commitment they made to themselves as well as their team. If every person in this organization honors their commitment to themselves, as well as the organization, success is sure to be achieved. Although it is not realistic to track our work ethic and results since high school, adopting a mindset that there is always room for improvement, and continuing to rise professionally and personally will create personal and professional success. Let's continue improving and working to achieve our career best efforts. Doing so will create an unstoppable organization.
"There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either in or you're out. There's no such thing as life in-between." –Pat Riley
Founded in 1984, Jaburg Wilk offers extensive experience, diversity in practice areas and the ability to think like a business owner. We are an Arizona mid-sized AV rated law firm, the highest rating that a law firm can receive. Our attorneys, paralegals, and other support staff meet our clients' diverse legal needs and provide exceptional service through our 21 Fundamentals which comprise The JW Way.