One of my favorite movie lines of all time is from The Greatest Game Ever Played, a golf drama based on the true story of the 1913 US Open.
Twenty-year-old Francis Ouimet was challenging his idol, Englishman Harry Vardon, who had won the Open in 1900. When Harry’s wealthy sponsor said Francis could not possibly win because he was not from the upper class and therefore would fold under pressure, Harry responded, “If Mr. Ouimet wins tomorrow, it’s because he’s the best, because of who he is. Not who his father was, not how much money he’s got—because of WHO HE IS!”
And so it is with banking.
It has little to do with the economy, the market, the competition. It has much more to do with who you have become as a leader and who your team has developed to be.
The great competition isn’t “out there.” The great competition has always between the ears, in the mind, and part of the character of a leader.
Weak leaders don’t understand that, of course, because they are at the mercy of the external.
People forget that this is how it is with everything—we get our results because of who we are. A millionaire can lose all his money and recoup it in weeks because of who he had to become to grow and keep a million in the first place.
As you start 2008, make a list of five commitments for a breakthrough. Be specific. Then become the person who could accomplish those five with ease, and they are as good as complete.