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Posts Tagged ‘intensity’

Intensity Key to Repeatable Results

Posted by Plish on August 27, 2009

The Chicago White Sox, my favorite baseball team, have hit the skids in their quest to win the division.  They seem to have a lackluster attitude and they just don’t get things done.  They’re terrible at bringing people home when they’re in scoring position and they’re not making good defensive plays.  In other words, the team isn’t executing well…or at all!

Two losses ago, Scott Podsednik said the team needed to play with more intensity.  The Manager echoed those statements.

Well, the Sox lost the next game in spite of Podsednik hitting a clutch home run as a pinch hitter.

Captain Paul Konerko, then  said after that loss, “I’ll take execution and smart play over intensity.  That stuff will win out. ”


It’s not either/or. 

It’s both/and.

Podsednik had it right.  Intensity needs to be there.  In fact, execution and smart play is a function of intensity; as intensity goes up (to a point) execution and smart play occur in a more repeatable fashion.

Why does intensity going up  “to a point” make a difference?

Think of younger athletes playing a sport like soccer.  They run vigorously up and down the field, sometimes never even touching the ball but nonetheless they’re all sweating as if they’re playing active roles in moving the ball downfield and into the opposing goal.

The truth is that perhaps only one or two people are actually doing any useful work; the rest are running around willy-nilly.  To that end, Konerko is correct, execution and smart play is better than intensity.

But, I don’t think that’s what Podsednik meant.  When people focus their intensity, they enter that ‘zone’ where everything works.  People don’t usually make stupid mistakes when their intensity is focused.  People don’t fail to execute when their intensity is focused.

So why this baseball based diatribe?

Because it’s our lesson as well.

Repeatably being on the top of our games will not happen without some type of intensity.  Whether it’s solving problems with cool new ideas, coming up with a new piece of art or music, or keeping from getting into an accident while driving in a snow storm during rush hour, intensity is the lens that makes fruitful results possible.

So, next time you’re not getting the results you want, look at how well you’re focused.  It doesn’t take that big of a lens to start a fire using the suns rays.

You are that bright light…bring some fire to your world!




Posted in Authenticity, cognitive studies, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, innovation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity, Yerkes-Dodson Curve | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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