When I started coaching in the NFL in 1981, there were 14 African American assistant coaches in the whole league, and no African American head coaches or coordinators. I didn’t show up my first day of work thinking I was going to become a head coach and win a Super Bowl, but I did think about the future and reaching goals. I wanted to learn as much as I could and do my job well.
I believed that if I did that, I’d get promoted. And I didn’t let the fact that there were no Black men in those high-level jobs put a damper on my thinking. I always believed that because of who I worked for and the people around me, I would learn enough to be an excellent coach. If you want to succeed at reaching goals, then you’ll need to focus on these 3 things.
Work on becoming great at what you do.
If I became good enough, then being promoted would just be a matter of getting the opportunity. That part I couldn’t control, so I had to leave the opportunities in God’s hands. But I never once allowed myself to believe that I couldn’t do the job if I got the chance. I had to keep the negativity out of my thought process and leave it to God.
Set your expectations high.
You won’t always rise to the level of the expectations you have for yourself, but you will never be able to rise above the imaginary ceiling you construct in your mind. How high do you want to set those expectations? How high would you like to go?
Focus on where you want to go.
Your life will be affected by whether you allow things around you—like a shot blocker—to affect your trajectory. You won’t be able to remove all the distractions you find along the way. The key is to continue to focus your thoughts on where you want to go, regardless of those distractions. What do you want your tomorrow to look like? Allow your mind and heart to embrace that direction.
Sound off: What’s a goal you’re currently working toward reaching?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one goal you want to achieve?”