Thursday, October 31, 2019

Are you a cleaner, closer or cooler?

In the middle of a year-long leadership program I attended, our leader suggested the book Relentless by Tim Grover. I had gobbled up the other books in the program, so I couldn't wait for this one.

Grover is the former trainer of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and many more superstars, and his book focuses on what elite athletes do that others don't.

Cleaners. That is Grover's terminology for the elite of the elites. A cleaner is someone who has the mentality to win at all costs. A cleaner has a definite dark side. A cleaner is more than just a clutch player. He is a strong-willed leader who is never satisfied with his accomplishments.

The other types of elite athletes are coolers, who are followers and hesitant to take initiative. Another is a closer, who often needs to be congratulated after accomplishing something.

When I read this book, I was like, "Hey, yo, I'm a cleaner!"
Funny, the person I met who recommended the book struck me as one of the most relentless people I've ever met. Intense! And, maybe, to be elite in certain arenas, a relentless mindset is a prerequisite.

I was drawn to Relentless because I sometimes have lacked a killer's instinct in sports. I can have a big lead, then led up and let the opponent back in the game. I used to overthink key moments, and I'd like to close out games like Kobe.

But y'know what struck me most about Grover's book is his personal stories? If I remember correctly, his father was a pathologist who performed autopsies, and at an extremely young age, Grover saw these bodies and even helped his father in that setting. Egads.

It made me wonder about what spurs people to even want to be "cleaners." Are cleaners overdoing it? Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I'm a big fan of work-life balance and put love of self and others above being a cleaner. What drives cleaners? On one hand, I respect the focus, discipline and work ethic, but on the other hand, I wonder: What are you truly missing?

So I do recommend Relentless. But at what cost? Humanity supersedes being "the best" at something. However, in an ultra-competitive situation, I respond to some of the lessons in Grover's book, and I just win, baby.

No comments:

Post a Comment