My business Logo is the Chinese character for WARRIOR. Since there is no word for champion in Chinese I use the two interchangeably. All warriors are champions and vice versa. This is a powerful, profound logo whose meaning goes beyond simply identifying my company. While it is easily recognizable in my national network in the field of athletics, it also identifies my purpose, my belief, my way and the culture I create. It represents the "WHY" factor of my work...and that is to make a difference, to change the status quo of sports, to be a servant to others helping them to compete and coach with heart, to be something other than ordinary as they navigate not only the game of sport but the bigger game of life. It is a symbol for all this as well as my 11 core values that drive winning in a culture of champions.
Let's begin with the Chinese character. Notice the warrior's arms busting out of the red box. You can also see the legs at the bottom stretching wide open to break out of the confined box. Inside the red box, notice how all is black and white...this is myopic vision and thought. For example, functioning inside the box when we see things as black and white we believe that all loss is bad, soft is weak, opponents are our enemies, more is better. The real Champion thinks outside the box... loss is our greatest teacher, soft is often strong, opponents are our partners providing a chance to see how good we really are, and less is often more. Such outside the box thinking is emblematic of the way of the warrior and how Champions perform day to day.
You will notice that when the warrior breaks out, transformation occurs... things go from black and white to gray, the zone of being open , ready and poised to battle freely without fear. He expects nothing and yet is ready for anything. He learns from those losses and becomes stronger as a result.
Notice, too, how the box is red. In Chinese, the color red means transformation and fire. In life, anything that contacts fire transforms. But like all change in life, all evolvement, all greatness requires some pain, suffering, hard work. So the warrior knowing this, approaches the fire, works hard, feels the pain and comes out the other side transformed and able to compete at a higher level. All greatness in sports ( and growth in life) demands that you work hard and the results will come. The box being red also symbolizes love and passion and heart. When you have these three ingredients present in whatever you do, you are able to persist, persevere and believe that all is possible on your personal and collective journey of discovering your greatness. The transformed champion is now represented by being totally engulfed in the love, passion and belief of the red circle...completely gray, able to see options, alternatives and experience the freedom to go beyond society's limitations and obsolete ways of thinking.
CIRCLE SYMBOLISM OF THE TEAM CULTURE
The symbolism of the CIRCLE in our culture is inexhaustible. Here are some relevant ideas that give you a sense of the symbolic vastness of this ancient geometrical figure as used by Buddhist,Taoist,Celtic and Native American traditions for thousands of years.
We believe that this sacred symbol is perhaps more relevant today than ever as it is emblematic of our 11 Core Values that drive winning championship cultures. This concept is deeply represented by the video of this Harvard men's soccer program who have embraced the Way of Champions philosophical tenets and apply these to their everyday life.
As my teams gather in our sacred circle we open our hearts to become aware of the symbolic CIRCLE POWER:
~ Know that it represents a universal, divine, mystical journey with no ending.
~ We get a strong sense of unity, inclusivity, wholeness, strength, "just us". US = United Souls.
~ There is the sense of ONENESS, one heart, soul, mission, goal
~ The center is empty... reminds us to clear the mind and be open to vast possibilities
~ We can see each in the circle each other's circular eyes, the windows to the soul.
~ There is a spiritual energy component standing together ready for battle.
~ Look up and we encounter stars, moon, sun...all circles of cosmic unity.
~ It's the protective boundary, not to be penetrated by opponent or the unwanted
~ Yin Yang is circular, encompassing the whole of all duality...Loss is Gain, Less is More, Soft is Strong.
AND, As we gather together, let our symbolic circle enable us to play and compete, coach and work with heart, AND...
~ Develop a unified agreement to agree to winning the day following our mission.
~ Make the group imperative a priority, being present and mindful together.
~ Create a warm, tolerant and safe space that is conducive to being our best.
~ Know that regardless of designated roles, we are all wise and valued mates.
~ Change all negative chi to positive and silence our limited beliefs.
~ Reconnect from our hearts and give to each other the gift of selflessness.
~ Focus less on the task and concentrate how to BE not what to DO.
~ Be fearless, mindful, tenacious, courageous, patient, and compassionate.
~ Come closer in friendship aware of the power of your influence.
~ Catch each other doing something right at least once a day.
~ Gently open the door to your heart and explore the great potential within.
THE 11 CORE VALUES THAT CREATE A WINNING CHAMPIONSHIP WARRIOR CULTURE
Have you ever wondered how the world's most successful coaches build winning teams year after year?
Have you ever wondered how top coaches build lasting relationships with their athletes that stand the test of time and bear the burden of truth required in an elite coach/athlete relationship?
Don't you with you could spend a weekend learning the secrets of the world's most successful teams and leaders?
Now you can.
These secrets are embedded in their culture, the systematic body of learned behaviors which are transmitted to the athlete from coaches and team mates and have a huge impact on how the team behaves, plays and competes. The entire clan is profoundly shaped by the culture in which they live, a culture that recognizes the minds of other members of their team to be as important as their own. There is in such a culture the notion that we paly, practice and compete for a cause, belief, purpose bigger than any one individual.
Champions focus, not on winning championships and outcomes, BUT on the spiritual process of building a strong culture that will ultimately create peak performance on a consistent basis, thus placing them in position to be the best they can be and, as a byproduct, win themselves a conference, league or national championship. That said, the MISSION for athletes is always "the exceptional execution of extraordinary excellence". I call this "the X-Factor", the process which is achieved by diligent, eager attention to all "the little things," those that we control such as the Eleven Core Spiritual Values that Drive Winning.