Written by Jeff Thuringer
The third of our core values is selflessness. The Starters’ value of selflessness consists of three parts: 1) self-control and process, 2) team and 3) others.
The first part of selflessness, control and process, begins with the individual. But this is not a selfish approach. It is not about bragging or putting an individual’s interest above the team or organization. It is about self-control, that is, keeping emotions in check. Coach John Wooden said, “When emotions dominate our actions, we make mistakes.” We make the wrong kind of mistakes, mistakes that wouldn’t happen if we approached the situation with a calm and controlled mind. We also cannot perform at our best when our mind is clouded by the emotions of the moment.
It is not only about self-control, but also about dedication to the improvement process. It is the humble belief that we can always improve. It is not about outcomes for their own sake, but only as they relate to the measurement of the improvement process. Outcomes should never be bragged about because success should never be final. Success should be redefined, and always keeping the bar raised. It is a repeatable process that matters. Our Starter’s saying is “process is selfless, but results are selfish.”
Being selfless is about being a team player, and serving the team needs before your own. What does it mean to serve the team? First, it is making the effort to make yourself as good of a player as possible. Second, it is about being a positive and supportive teammate, and helping when necessary. Third, it is listening to your coach (i.e. being coachable). Finally, it means executing the strategy that is best for the team, no matter what it means to the individual.
Being selfless is recognizing the importance of serving others. Service can ground us and reinforce values. Service lets us practice humility and self-control. It helps to build character and an appreciative heart. It helps individuals understand that sometimes there are more important things than sports – that we can and should do good, and work to improve the world.
“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” – Aristotle
I serve. I am a Starter.