How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything

As I’ve been doing more speaking after the Covid years it’s been harder to find father/son time with my youngest—who is almost eleven. I eventually decided that we could work out together: 6 am is very early for him. His former living situation (he was not full-time with me until recently) was much more relaxed. The first week we did this, he hated it.

I think he believed I was trying to make him into me: Dad was an athlete—he should be an athlete. He is not ass passionate about athletics right now. He’s into animation. We had to sit down and I had to help him understand: how you get good at one thing is how you get good at everything. This is a place (a gym) I can show you how to work hard, make incremental improvements, and develop yourself because I know how to do it here. That’s my job: to give you a chance to excel—to be great, in your life. To show up for yourself.

I can’t teach you animation—maybe someday you can teach me; but I can teach you how to approach wphysical and mental development through working out. 

And it applies to animation.

And everything else.

I’ve come to see this as a rule in life—and yet, in business, I see it often overlooked. There are so many businesses that have floating standards for individuals—some can come in late, others not. Some come late to meetings and people laugh, understand. Others get scolded by their bosses. 

I’ve had the opportunity, plenty of times, to work through young teams in businesses, particularly sales teams. One team I worked with really stood out: the leader told the prospects he would drive them extremely hard for two years—the pay could be good, but he was going to have the best sales team (and by far not the largest) in the organization. If they weren’t going to come in early, and be ready to start at “go” time, if they weren’t willing to log the hours—don’t come. If they last two years with him, they could move anywhere in the organization, and he would fight for them to advance.

He chose people by their ambition—not just talent. There were no differing rules for individuals.

Yes, he created the best sales team in the business—with about 1/5 of the staff of other sales teams. And, careerists for the organization, when his team moved through.

There was a moment, with my son, when he told me he couldn’t pull a weight. It was clear to me he wasn’t trying. How we do one thing is how we do everything.

Meet the challenge, son, don’t ask for the challenge to meet you.
Eventually, he spread out his legs, dug into the floor, and pulled. Well done.

He goes to bed earlier, now, so we can get up together and go to the gym. He is learning self-discipline, self-respect. Am I happy: yes, I get more time with him. But it’s more than that, and it’s the same difficulty we have in businesses:

He gets time with the him that operates the best for him. He models himself, for himself. He ceases to “be” and begins to “become.” It’s how we grow in life; it’s how we grow in business.


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