30 Aug Inner Scorecard
Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideas hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love
Today we honor the march on Washington, which holds a special place for all of us at the Daily Coach as our own George Raveling was on the stage hearing Dr. King deliver his powerful message. On that day, Dr. King was not hiding behind any fear, he was not ambiguous, he was direct, and like all great leaders, he was able to express his plan and then use his powerful words to bring his idea to life. He stood alone with his beliefs and rallied thousands. No one, including Raveling, left Washington without a clear, comprehensive understanding of how King’s leadership was going to make this happen.
Now, all of us don’t possess the powerful oratory skills of Dr. King. However, we do have students, players, children, employees to lead, and they want clarity, they want direction, and they never want ambiguous behavior. They also need passion, strong beliefs, conviction, drive and most of all a lack of care for what the rest of the world might think. Dr. King in his quote is begging us to stand alone and be willing to be called different. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway calls this the inner scorecard:
“The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard.”
Buffett is in the top five of richest men in the world, yet he still lives in the same house he bought 40 years ago in Omaha. He still drives himself, and he always hits McDonald’s on his way to work. The lesson to learn from Buffett is that his authentic behavior and lack of caring what others think allow him to make better decisions. Yes, his behavior plays into his decision making. He never thinks, or cares, how others view his choices or how those decisions might make him look to the general public. He only cares about making the right decision, not the popular one.
We all have made bad decisions and because of “outside perception” held onto these bad decisions for fear of how it might appear. We allow outside forces to control what we do because we want to be perfect; we don’t want anyone to know we made a mistake. And because of this behavior, we compound our mistakes.
The inner scorecard is essential and must become part of your DNA. And the only way you can gain the total confidence to trust your inner scorecard is to become a lifelong learner. Crave learning every single day, and when you stand alone with your beliefs against doubters, your inner voice will be confident.