I lost a big bet

The moment he stepped onto the pitch, I had lost the bet which included a return flight from Australia to Europe and a ticket to watch a Champions League game. 

However, I was so happy…

Bonjour, in this video I want to share one of the foundation principles of performance. 

Most companies are very clear about the importance of having a strategy, a vision. I don’t know of any CEO or Executive that would say: ‘I have a rough idea in my mind about our strategy, but I don’t need to document it or write it down’.

Often, executive teams go to an offsite and work on their strategy. Sometimes they work with external consulting firms who help them decide the right strategy and get their vision written down. Then they break it down into yearly goals, quarterly goals, and personal priorities. 

Why is that so obvious in the business world and not so much in our personal lives? 

Interestingly only about 5% of people take the time to write down their life aspirations and break them down into smaller goals. Most people never ask themselves what a successful life means for them? What their dreams and goals are?  What they need to focus on to achieve them? 

I hesitated in writing about the following personal story, but I was so over the moon this week for Cameron, my son, that I decided to share this with you. Cameron is 19 years old and a professional football player. He moved from Australia to England two years ago to play for Brighton & Hove Albion.  What has amazed me over the years is just how clear he has been about his dreams and goals. 

When Cameron was four years old, at kindergarten he was asked what he wanted to be. His answer was clear: ‘to become a professional football player.’

When he was nine years old, we made a bet together: before his 17th birthday he needed to be in the top 10 players in Australia of any sport. If he won, I would fly him to England to watch an English Premier League game. If he lost, he would treat me to a great restaurant in Sydney.

The day before his 15th birthday he was selected into the Joeys team, (the young Australian squad) and travelled to Mongolia to compete in the AFC qualifiers for the U17 World Cup. I tried to argue there were 11 players in the team not 10, but to no avail

On his 16th birthday we flew to England to watch Chelsea play West Ham and it was an unforgettable day.

We decided that day to agree on a new bet. Before his 20th birthday he needed to get on to the pitch for a first team in one of the top 5 European leagues: England, France, Germany, Spain or Italy. Not to be on the bench but to actually play. We reversed the bet. If he lost, he would fly me to Europe to watch a Champions League game. If he won, I would treat him to an amazing restaurant. 

His birthday is on the 23 September 2022. Time was ticking.

On the 24th of August 22, he made his debut for the first team of Brighton and Hove Albion at the Carabao Cup. I lost the bet, and yet I was so happy for him.

What amazed me is how clear Cameron has been from the start about what he has wanted to achieve. Many years ago, he wrote down his goals. He reviews them very often. He has broken them down into small milestones. But as he said to me after his first team debut, this is just another step in the right direction.

What are your dreams? What are the things you really want to achieve? Take the time to write them down. Take the time to break them down into milestones, in challenging but achievable steps. Where do you want to be in 5-10 years’ time? What does this mean for this year? What did this mean for this quarter? What does this mean for this week?

This is this week’s work smarter live better tip. Time for Cameron and I to set the next bet. We are currently in the negotiation process!

A bientôt,

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