As the Christmas season approaches, our anxiety levels in relation to gift giving begin to rise. For many, Christmas brings with it panic about what to buy, how much to spend, will he or she like our gift. Perhaps it is time to replace this focus on materialism with a focus on support and hope.
Australia has more than 130,000 homeless people who are constantly in need of support. Food in their stomach, a blanket to keep them warm, a shoulder to lean on and most importantly, the feeling that someone cares. It is time that we begin to understand that giving is not so much about the material, but rather the passion and purpose. Too often today we give to get in return, as opposed to give to make a difference. This festive season it is time to give people a piece of our heart and not a piece of our mind.
Regardless of how successful you are as an athlete or in business, there is always room for improvement. As an athlete, if you truly want to be the best, you need a support team around you, and a coach is an integral and vital part of that team.
A mentor is simply a trusted guide, coach, counsellor or teacher with whom you share your experiences and from whom you gain advise. In life, it is very easy to get caught up in our own journey, in thinking that we know best and therefore risk becoming blind to the fact that there could be a better path. A mentor is only a phone call away and can help to broaden our horizons and show us alternate pathways.
Read the three major reasons I believe it is critical that we have a mentor here
In today’s society, our heads are constantly filled with heart wrenching news stories like the horrific attacks in London over the weekend, causing us to question humanity and constantly ask, ‘why’. Sometimes there is no answer to that why, the pain that a select few cause for so many is truly unthinkable. But if we let these individuals instill constant fear in our hearts then they win. When we see terror in the media, we must grieve and allow our hearts and prayers to go out to the families that have personally suffered. What can we do in addition to grieving, to avoid those tragedies happening in vein? We can realise that sweating the small stuff is futile. Just because you’re a little cold today in your office, or your fuel light has just come on or someone cuts you off on the road, it’s not all that bad when you allow perspective in and remember that it could be so much worse. These tragedies around the world need to in some way bring the world closer together. We also need to begin to count our blessings not our problems – start to be grateful every day for the little wins and the small blessings. And as individuals, we need to consider working towards uniting as one race – the human race. On an individual level, we need to let go of race, gender, sexual preference or religion.
Turning another year older tomorrow, being birthday 33. I thought I would reflect back on my life the three greatest challenges for me when transitioning from playing baseball in the USA to heading home and getting busy in the corporate world were:
Why is it that so many people say I love the team environment when I play sports, however so many find it challenging to express that same feeling in the business world? Here are my top three.
The lack of communication and access to a leader/coach/boss.
In the sporting world I had access to my coach daily. We would regularly discuss performance, strengths and weaknesses, and identify opportunities to grow and ensure that I was performing at my best. When I hit the corporate world, I had to lock a meeting in the diary, follow it up and deal with having it cancelled. My daily reviews/catch ups in sport became quarterly reviews in business.
The mentality around failure.
In the sporting world athletes understand that it is ok to fail, that failure makes you work harder and builds determination and character that ultimately makes you a better person. I believe that what sets athletes apart from those in the business world, is that athletes better understand failure and strive to grow from it. Failure in the business world tends to more readily translate to a loss in motivation and a readiness to quit.
An athlete is aware of their weaknesses in a team, but also aware of their strengths and they certainly don’t let success or failure define them. The close and constant communication with their coach, something that is less common in the corporate world, helps drive continual improvement. The corporate world could learn from this!
Inability to utilise others strength to support your weaknesses.
In my opinion there is a lot of ‘dog-eat-dog’ mentality in the corporate space. The desire to progress rapidly up the corporate ladder at the expense of the team, can be destructive to not only productivity, but to team moral. Many who adopt this attitude on their way up the ladder also pass the same team members on their way back down!
The vital lesson that I learnt throughout my career in sports and business, is that a successful team is made up of a mix of personalities and skills, all sharing the same goal and working together to find a way to achieve it. A successful team has a strong leader who understands the strengths of all team members and, armed with this knowledge, he/she leads from the front to get the job done.
Leadership skills are critical both on and off the field. They help create championship teams, create a healthy working environment and most importantly, assist greatly in personal growth.
read more here
The Sydney Morning Herald recently published an article on four cancer survivors telling their incredible stories – showing how modern treatments can keep people alive.
Michael was featured as one of the stories and the full article can be read here
First Published – Sydney Morning Herald – February 15, 2015
By Matt Burgess and Harriet Alexander
Image courtesy of : Wolter Peeters
Recently Michael was featured in a special book called the Most Interesting Person I Know (MIPIK) by Stephanie Hunt.
From what initially started as an outlet for Stephanie’s passion for writing, the MIPIK website soon became much more. Raising funds for the CanDo Cancer Trust based in Coffs Harbour, the book is on sale through the MIPIK.net site which can be accessed here.
Here’s a snippet of the feature on Michael in the book; “Councillor Kerry Hines has no doubts that Michael Crossland is the most interesting person she has met on the Coffs Coast. She thinks his story is not just interesting, but inspiring. Turns out she is right. Not only is Michael’s story inspiring, but he is literally making a career out of helping to motivate and inspire others through the power of his own story.”
In an excerpt from the Sydney Morning Herald article, “New Dogs deserve to have their day”, Michael was praised for his motivational effects on the teams performance during their rise to the 2012 premiership.
NEARLY four months ago, the Canterbury Bulldogs hit upon what might be a secret rugby league weapon: good karma. The team had their first motivational talk from Michael Crossland, a cancer survivor whose theme of ”dancing forward” rather than dwelling on the past was one the club was only too keen to hear.