Mark Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures. He is the chairman of the HDTV cable network HDNet and stars on ABC’s Shark Tank. Oh, and he’s a billionaire.
Skip Bayless is a sports journalist and television personality for ESPN. Bayless is reportedly a millionaire.
Mark Cuban recently appeared on ESPN and made Bayless look like an idiot. Cuban’s point is not directed at Bayless alone, however. Many of us make the same mistake Bayless makes over and over in the ESPN clip. Watch the clip and cringe. This is how you should feel every time you use Bayless’ approach to understanding your own shortcomings, failures, and successes. Without Cuban’s approach, I guarantee you will not be able to take your success (skill, ability, salary, title, whatever means success to you) to the next level.
Cuban points out that Bayless deals only in generalities. It is impossible to accurately describe a cause and effect relationship using generalities. Cuban points out how commentators were saying Miami “wanted it more” or the Mavericks “didn’t play hard enough.” That is how they attribute success or failure to professional teams. The problem is that you cannot improve generalities. How do the Mavericks “want it more” or how do they “play harder?” Actual improvement requires more concrete detail. Have fewer turn overs, manage the clock better, keep so-and-so out from under the basket, etc.
We need to avoid this problem in our own professional lives: did you get passed over for that promotion because you didn’t want it enough? The other candidate wanted it more or tried harder? Were you ‘just not feeling it’ the day of the interview so it didn’t go so well? Was the interview just awkward for some reason? If you want to get that next promotion, you need to improve in specific ways. What questions can you answer better? How can you improve your image as a reliable employee who would make a strong manager (be on time to work, turn in high-quality work before the deadline, volunteer for projects, etc)? How can you make an interview comfortable for you and the interviewer (smile, make light conversation, make eye contact, etc)?
Learn from Cuban, deal in facts. What do you need to improve to take your success to the next level?
What common generalities hold us back on a daily basis?