Coach Omar Linton was a legend in our town. He taught my boys about LIFE and happened to do so while teaching them the great game of basketball.
Omar also always took the time to be gracious to me, their mom. He stopped, he connected, and he built a relationship of trust and respect. Whenever I asked Omar how he was doing, his answer would steadfastly be, “I am so blessed, and I am grateful.” Omar Linton lived his life with the highest degrees of integrity, values and faith. As my boys would say, Omar was a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)!
For almost a decade, before he was called up to the big hoop game in the sky, Omar would work with my boys on the court. They would do drills and learn to focus, to defend, to dribble and to shoot. I loved overhearing the practice when I would come to pick up the boys. Omar would get into not just the fundamentals of basketball but also, and more importantly, the inner game of what was swirling in their heads. What were they thinking? What were their fears? What was holding them back? Where did they need to reframe their mindset and do some hard work on themselves?
According to Bob Anderson and Bill Adams in Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results:
We are always playing two games—an outer and inner game. The outer game of leadership consists of using all of our knowledge and experience, as well as our technical, managerial, and leadership competence, to accomplish results. The all-consuming outer game is obviously where most leaders spend most of their time, since the day-to-day requirements of the outer game are fierce and the learning curve is steep.
Most efforts to develop mastery in leadership focus on the outer game of competence with little focus on the inner game of consciousness. Yet what we hold in our consciousness tends to manifest, meaning that the inner game runs the outer game. Until we take a more balanced approach—one that evolves both the inner and outer game (consciousness and competence) simultaneously—we will falter in developing leaders at the accelerated pace required.
Omar understood the importance of balancing the outer game of competence with the inner game of consciousness, and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for imparting that priceless wisdom to my boys.
Omar left us on August 12, 2021, and we are all still reeling with shock and heartbreak. To see my boys achingly bid farewell to someone they loved and experience death for the first time was just tragic, even though it paled in comparison to the pain we saw in the eyes of Omar’s amazing family.
A beautiful tribute, even the service was planned to focus on the inner game and the importance of our mindset. At the service, we received a lovely note that Omar prepared. In it, he shared:
“….There are rocky roads ahead for you and many hills to climb,
Together, we can do it, taking one day at a time.
It was my philosophy, and please, I’d like for you to give unto the world
so the world will give to you.” -Levar Omar Linton
Coach, thank you for the inspiration that transcends death.
In your honor, we will lift each other up, and we will pay close attention to our inner game to play our best outer game. The photo of you hanging on our wall will forever remind us to do good and give all we can to this world. Your life was a slam dunk.
Build positive energy inside of you by focusing on what is right and good with every situation and every person
By Leigh Ann Errico, Executive and Team Coach at LAeRRICO & partners
Energy. AKA vibes. Why do interactions with some people infuse you with happiness while others drain your joy?
The answer is energy…it’s contagious. Energy transfers from person to person. You can choose to transmit good vibes—or if you’re not intentional about choosing, you may unintentionally steal others’ sunshine.
My teenage daughter talks about “vibes” and “vibing with people” all the time. This word takes the form of a noun and a verb in her friend orbit. When these younger people are getting along well, they say; “We vibe.” When things are not feeling right0000, I hear, “Oh, Mom…that is not the vibes!” There is something to this youthful interpretation of energy that is worth examining.
Developing and maintaining positive energy involves more than thinking happy thoughts. Shifting to positive vibes—positive energy—is a skill to be mastered. It requires the ability to see the possibilities that are available to you every day, with each interaction.
Appreciative Inquiry (AI), which relies on the importance of focusing on what is right and good with people and situations, is a strategy for organizational change that can also be harnessed on the individual level.
Appreciative inquiry devotes attention to strengths rather than weaknesses. According to David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney, “Appreciative Inquiry is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them…AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential.”
In short, AI is about appreciating processes that already work well; envisioning how things might work well in the future; prioritizing those processes; and sustaining positive changes. Applying AI to our daily thought process can electrify us with positivity that makes those around us light up, as well.
At my gym, there are many different instructors who teach classes every hour, on the hour. There is one instructor named Trevor whose classes always have a sold-out waiting list (while classes taught by other instructors have plenty of availability). The difference? It’s how Trevor makes you feel. He smiles. He gives you a knuckle bump. He finds and highlights the positive in you. Then he teaches you how to be better. That grueling, one-hour sweat makes you want more.
The secret is not endorphins (otherwise, the class instructor would be irrelevant). The secret is Trevor’s thought process. We can all be a Trevor when we focus on the good.
Here are five tactics to manage your vibes and put positive energy out into the universe:
1.Start and end each day with gratitude
To shine when you rise and as you close out each day, jot down three things for which you are grateful in that moment. By focusing on what you have to be thankful for, you trigger a state of mind that generates contentment and joy.
2. Create positive energy, from the inside out
Movement, exercise, stretching and breaking a sweat—tending to the wellness of your body—is a sure way to feel good on the inside, which will be perceptible from the outside.
3. Schedule smiles into your days
Often times, we neglect that which sets our souls on fire. We are the hamster on the wheel, fighting the good fight to make a living and cover all of our responsibilities…but we forget that we are also responsible for our own happiness. Make a list of what makes you smile (Cuddling up in your favorite sweatshirt with a book? Enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend? Watching the sunset by the lake or ocean?) and then book those things into your schedule, just as you would a dental appointment.
4. Pause to power up
We tend to run from event to event, or Zoom call to Zoom call. There’s not enough buffer between appointments and obligations to reset, map out our next steps and envision positive outcomes to ensure that we are bringing the right energy into every interaction. The point is, always pause so that you can show up in a way that conveys your best and highest self.
5. Make eye contact to connect
Looking into someone’s eyes says more than words. How do you feel when someone stops what they’re doing and gives you eye contact when you’re speaking to them? When they don’t? Eye contact makes the difference between someone feeling priceless and feeling worthless. Get comfortable with eye contact and use this superpower to forge human connections, whether in-person or on Zoom calls. The energy transfer is immediate.
As author Emily Maroutian said, “When you ‘pay’ attention to something, you buy that experience…Be selective in your focus because your attention feeds the energy of it and keeps it alive…”
Focus on what is right and good with every situation and every person that you encounter, and positive energy will build inside of you as a result. Your good vibes will leave every person that you meet better off, and all the good things—from friends to opportunities—will be on YOUR waiting list.
Read the article on Thrive Global's site: https://bit.ly/3mF2C6I
Leigh Ann Errico