Everyone Wants to Play
by Adam Zack — December 5, 2017
Mike Krzyzewski (pronounced Shuh-shef-ski, if you can believe that), also known as Coach K, is one of the top college basketball coaches of all time. He has won 5 national championships and has the most wins all-time in NCAA tournament play. He’s in the conversation for greatest coach in history, not too far behind John Wooden, the best ever. I was listening to him on a radio interview this week, and he made a statement that doesn’t just apply to basketball, or sports, but to our everyday work and even our lives in general. He was talking about his players, and he said that everyone wants to play, but everyone doesn’t want to prepare to play. Preparation is the hard part. Preparation is doing the homework, hitting the gym, eating right, not partying, practicing. The fun, the glory and the adrenaline is all in playing the game, but the key to winning is doing the prep work, which is work. The game is what you play. The work is what you do to win. Everyone wants to play, but winners do the work. When we were kids it was always “Come out and play!” It was fun, it was no consequences. We did the work when we had to study for tests, and it wasn’t fun, unless you were studying with a girlfriend or a secret crush, but then it was hard to focus on the work, right? The lesson of doing the work so our customers can play in our stores is the key to succeeding. New items have to be researched and placed right. Promotions take extensive planning, communication and precise execution. We have to do our homework and training to succeed. While the old “Throw it against the wall and see what sticks” philosophy might work sometimes, the best grocers in the country have the work ethic of a Coach K. They put in the gym time, invest in a well thought out game plan, and when it’s time for their employees and customers to play, they bask in the success and fun everyone has for the win.
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