Against all odds Butler Basketball made the NCAA finals in 2010 and came within inches of a national title. A couple of players graduated and one left early for the NBA. The next year they were struggling in conference play, barely above five hundred. They lost a mid week game in February to Youngstown State, the worst team in the conference. In that game they gave up 13 made three pointers. This loss put them on most lists of teams who experts anticipated being on the outside looking in when the NCAA tournament started.
After the game Butler coach Brad Stevens was asked about giving up those 13 threes and remarkably he said, “I need to go back and watch the film but I am pretty sure that we played pretty well defensively.”
Brad Stevens was watching a different game than anyone else in the gym. Everybody else was watching whether the ball through the hoop. Everyone else was watching the scoreboard. Brad Stevens was watching whether his team was doing the right things. He gets paid a great deal to watch something different than the average fan. He is watching whether they went over the top of screens when they were supposed to, he is watching whether they were talking effectively, or helping and recovering. He is not focused on the results he is focused on doing right things. We should be too.
In ministry and life we get caught up watching results. We are driven by them. They are measurable and that makes us feel good. Results are what the average fan is watching.That’s easy. A leader is called to examine whether their team is doing right things. A leader is required to gauge whether they are doing right things themselves.
Results are a byproduct of consistently doing right things.
The reality is that most of our life is out of our control. Too often these things control us.
There is a long list of things that we don’t have control of but those things are not worth a minute of our time. They are not worth an ounce of our emotion. It is entirely unproductive to focus on them.
The quicker we can become proficient at identifying what we have control of the quicker we will be healthy and productive people.
Step 1: Identify what is within our control
Step 2: Discipline ourselves to focus our time, energy and emotion on things that are within our control
In April of 2011 Brad Stevens and the Butler Basketball team played in their second consecutive national championship game because they focused on doing right things. They did not make the national championship game by focusing their attention on the scoreboard.