Giannis is a Genius

Last month, July 22nd, was my wife Nancy’s and my 15th Wedding Anniversary and I had some fun things planned.

Spa day downtown, a room overlooking the Chicago River at the Marriott Renaissance hotel, dinner at RPM Seafood with a table outside on the river, and then rooftop bar back at the hotel late night to just hang out by ourselves which is something we do not do nearly enough!

Then, some great friends of ours were going to bring the kids to the hotel Friday morning so we could take the L train to the Cubs game where we had some pretty awesome seats thanks to a great friend of mine.

But… Tuesday happened and I took my daughter in for a simple cough only to have her test positive for Covid.

Needless to say, plans changed and we spent our anniversary at home with the kids eating Cooper’s Hawk carry out (which was insanely delicious) and watching The Mighty Ducks series on Disney +.

Hey, things happen and we used it as family time to reset and I knew that I would have an opportunity to break away for peace of mind with 70.3 training… 12-mile run last Saturday and a 56-mile bike on Sunday.

I took off early for both for two reasons… a little bit cooler weather and so I could get back home and have the day with the kids. Kept telling myself it was about keeping them going more than it was about preventing Nancy and me from losing our minds during their quarantine.

I had a great run and a great ride and was pretty fired up at the end of the weekend. Actually… my confidence level for this race on September 12th went to a whole other level.

Until Monday’s 8-mile run… I was awful!

Legs were heavy, not a great mindset, listened to myself more than I talked to myself, and subconsciously undermined that day of training.

What happened?

Life happened… training caught up to me, lack of sleep because of the kids’ craziness from being cooped up caught up to me, and late nights with the business caught up to me.

You know what else caught up to me… I started feeling pretty good about my workouts on Saturday and Sunday and kept talking about how great those were instead of focusing on what my body was telling me and the workout I had on Monday.

Let me dive into this a little more…

MVEQ in the NBA Belongs to…

Giannis Antetokounmpo!

Now if you are asking what in the world is MVEQ it is not a surprise as I made it up.

It stands for Most Valuable Emotional Intelligence.

It is truly remarkable the type of player Giannis has developed into and his physical ability and skills are incredible.

But what sets him apart and what I truly love about Giannis is…..his mind and ability to communicate the thoughts that make him who he is.

A reporter asked a brilliant question in a post-game press conference regarding his ability to figure out the ego part of the profession at such a young age and he asked Giannis who taught him those lessons.

Here was his reply:

“I’ll say life,” Antetokounmpo started. “Usually when, from my experience, when I think about ‘oh yeah, I did this, I’m so great. I had 30. I had 25-10-10’ or whatever the case might be because you’re going to think about that, ‘oh we won this and that,’ usually the next day you’re going to suck. As simple as that. Like the next few days, you’re going to be terrible. I figured a mindset to have, when you focus on the past that’s your ego. ‘I did this. We were able to beat this team 4-0. I did this in the past. I won that in the past.’

“And when I focus on the future it’s my pride. Like ‘yeah, next game, Game 5, I do this and this and this, I’m going to dominate.’ That’s your pride talking. It doesn’t happen. You’re right here. I kind of try to focus in the moment. In the present. That’s humility. That’s being humble. That’s setting no expectations, going out there and enjoying the game. Competing at a high level.

“I think I’ve had people throughout my life that’s helped me with that but that’s a skill that I’ve tried to like perfect it. And it’s been working so far, so I’m not going to stop.”

Let’s recap the three main points that Giannis articulated so well:

  • Focusing on the past is ego
  • Focusing on the future is pride
  • ·Focusing on the present is humility

Successful leaders and elite performers know how to balance pride with humility: Absolute pride in performance and total humility before the magnitude of the task.

No matter what happened before or what you hope to have happen in the future, the only thing that matters right now is this moment.

That focus will allow you to slow down time, create mental space to be more creative, help you lock into the fundamentals, increase your mental toughness, and minimize the doubt, worry, and ego that can get in the way.

Try This!

When you get a chance today take some time to pause and reflect (one of the five fundamentals of high-impact coaching) on where your mind is at that very moment. Are you thinking about the past, future, or present?

Then, think about your last week and where you have spent most of your time in your own head AND where have you spent most of your time when you are coaching your people….past, future, or present?


This was originally published as a weekly newsletter from Ed Molitor, with The Molitor Group. If you’d like to receive the weekly newsletter, follow this link to subscribe.


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