Friday, February 20, 2009

NHL MVP Not Good Enough

In cased you missed it, Washington Capitals all-star Alex Ovechkin scored one of the most amazing goals in NHL history earlier this week.

The skill and determination that it took to pull the play off was amazing, but really blew my mind was Alex’s quote after the game. This goal wasn’t a fluke. He’s practiced the backhand self-pass before.

"You have to try something new," Ovechkin said. "Sometimes I try in practice, and [teammates] say, 'What are you doing?’ Sometimes I just need to change my game and it is working.”

For those of you who don't know, Alex Ovechkin is the reigning league MVP and the#1 hockey player on the planet – period. There is no one better. Whatever he does, it obviously works - really well. He’s got a big contract and enough talent to be an perennial all-star just doing what he does naturally. Yet here he is talking about trying something new, changing his game, evolving. He genuinely wants to be better, even though he’s already the best.

Ovechkin has an internal drive to not just be the best in the world, but to push himself to reach his full potential. He competes fiercely against the competition, but more fiercely against himself. He knows that each year, he gets older and his competition gets younger. They are all working their tails off to be the next Alex Ovechkin. He wants to get better - he has to get better – in order to stay on top and meet his own expectations.

So what does that mean for the rest of us without $100+ million dollar contracts? To me it means that I need to continue to evolve my business, my tools, my strategies to stay ahead. The economy today isn’t what it was two years ago. I can’t expect to be successful doing the same things in the same way. Recruiting had changed, communication channels have changed, and I need to change as well, even though I’ve had a pretty good run.

Even if you are the MVP of your company, your team, or your industry – here is a reality check - you are not good enough quite yet. Just ask Alex.

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