Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.

Boise State basketball coach Phil Beckner helps us get to the next level of work ethic.

Key Points:

  • What’s the secret to success Coach Beckner has found in meeting successful people? “They all have an unwavering, relentless, unbelievable work ethic.”
  • In the sports world, it’s tempting to take things easy once you get a contract, but Coach Beckner has seen that the most successful players, even after signing on the dotted line, are still hungry like they’re rookies fighting for a spot on the team. They haven’t let success turn them lazy.
  • At Boise State, Coach Beckner can’t allow his players to be “50/50 guys.” He means players who are there “once in awhile.” These players get you beat in the long run. They don’t have the long view of how their individual actions affect their performance as members of the team and ultimately bring the team down. This applies to work teams, community service, or any other group working toward a larger goal.
  • If you want to be exceptional, you have to do more. The best of the best always ask for more.
  • Keep two things in mind when things get tough on your team or at work. First, find someone to believe in you: a mentor or someone else to keep you accountable. Second, work ethic is controllable. Some things aren’t controllable, like how tall you are. But if you can control the controllables, you’re going to outwork others and excel in the long run.

Quote This:

There are no medals for trying. -Bill Parcells

See Also: Athletes, Success, Workplace

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells said, “There are no medals for trying.” Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.
  3. Coach Beckner says that the most successful people have relentless work ethics. What about successful people you’ve met? What are the characteristics that make them successful as far as you can tell?
  4. Have you ever “gotten lazy” once you got your spot on the team, or that desk at the workplace, or once you settled into a romantic relationship? Why is it important to always “be hungry” in your work and relationships?
  5. Have you ever seen someone who was a “50/50” player, student, or co-worker? What sort of things did this person do that clearly made them a “50/50” member of the team?
  6. “If you want to be exceptional, you have to do more.” What does this look like practically? Give an example related to your work, studies, or team.
  7. Who are your mentors or other people who believe in you or keep you accountable?
  8. What are the “controllables” in your life? What can you take ownership over? How can you better utilize these “controllables” to propel yourself and your team/job/studies toward greater success?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.