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"Always have a sense of urgency." ~Kevin Compton

Stashed in: Leadership!, #success, Gratitude, Life, Attitude, #inspiration, Wisdom, Hockey, 49ers!, Quotes!, Change

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Kevin Compton is an unconventional leader of the San Jose Sharks; for example, he runs the organization with no President, instead having six executives report directly to the owners.

The organization recently changed its name to Sharks Sports & Entertainment and changed its mission statement from 84 words to 18:

"Build and operate a world-class sports and entertainment business with a championship caliber hockey team as a foundation."

I first met Kevin a dozen years ago when he invested in a company I co-founded, KnowNow.

So I was happy this morning when while searching for something else I discovered Kevin Compton's 5 Rules for Success, which I summarize as:

  1. Treat others as you'd like to be treated.
  2. Always have a sense of urgency.
  3. Keep on trying.
  4. Think big.
  5. Think small, and ask yourself, "Am I doing the little things right?"

The blog post is well written and makes me want to reblog most of Kevin Compton's 5 Rules for Success:

He began his talk with the "Golden Rule" and cited Matthew 7:12, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

For Kevin, he explained this was important and effective in all negotiations he was involved in. The "Golden Rule" allowed him to never have a bad experience because his objective was to treat the people on the other side of the table as he would have wanted from them. Of course, they might be vicious and aggressive, but Kevin said he kept it all in perspective and stuck with the "Golden Rule."

His second rule was to always have a sense of urgency. He learned from one of his mentors not to waste time, but just to do it. If it's on your list, why keep it on there if you could do it now? He also discussed how having lists are a good thing because to become successful you need to be doing things and if you don't have things to do then you will not become successful. So having long "To Do" lists are a good thing.

His third rule was to keep on trying. Another way to phrase this, which he didn't state, is do not to be afraid of failure. He gave a football analogy of the '72 Miami Dolphins. They were the only perfect team in NFL history, but do people remember them as well as the great football dynasties? No. People remember and have a close affinity to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco Forty-Niners or Greenbay Packers. These teams lost and won in numerous Superbowls. It's better to just try rather than only trying when you know you won't fail or waiting until everything is right. Not a great analogy, but a good message.

I liked how he referred to his written biography as being incomplete. It tells maybe 5% of his career, which of course highlights his successes, but most of what's left off are his failures which drove him to success.

His fourth rule was to think big. He had a great story about one of his players on the San Jose Sharks, who's name I forgot, who came from a small town in Ottawa. This player wrote down when he was in junior high that his dream is to play professional hockey for the San Jose Sharks, and against numerous odds that Kevin described he achieved his dream. So think big and dream big.

Kevin's last rule was to think small, and to ask yourself, "Am I doing the little things right?" In his opinion, the top 5% of NHL players are all the same in terms of talent, but the difference is in the little things. The slightest increased shot accuracy, conditioning, etc. make the difference between being a top player and hall of fame quality.

He recommended to think of those small things in life and work. The small thank you note, a cup of water for someone in thirst, or a helping hand when needed.

Met him only once in 2008, and treated me with respect and dignity. Great to hear about his 5 rules!

Yes. Agree. Kevin is a great guy. When I was fundraising for 3GA, I pitched him and he declined to invest but it was the quickest no and he explained his thinking briefly to me. Which was not the case with most other investors I met. (-:

I still remember the two question Kevin asked me to get a sense of who I am... Maybe that should make up another convo on 106...

Yes please!

BTW, is there a way to edit my post? I have butchered English badly in my previous post (my excuse -- typing on an iPhone while on Hong Kong MTR) and see no way of fixing it.

Okay, need to be logged in, that's it. (-:

Or you could just add it here, Ashish.

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