Best in Class No Matter What

Being Best No Matter What

Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command understands Navy Seals are the best. He says,

one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping.  We practiced this technique extensively during basic training.

The ship attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over two miles—underwater—using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.

During the entire swim, even well below the surface there is some light that comes through.  It is comforting to know that there is open water above you. But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight—it blocks the surrounding street lamps—it blocks all ambient light.

To be successful in your mission

Seals have to swim under the ship and find the keel—the centerline and the deepest part of the ship. This is their objective.  But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship—where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship’s machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.

Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission—is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.

If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment

Being a scuba diver myself I understand how black the water can get not just at night, but at depths of 100 feet or more. Being calm is not just a nice to have—it’s an imperative. This goes for business too. It may not seem like a diving scenario in a meeting room; but it can have the same intensity. When difficult subjects are being broached we must be our best. When a co-worker is going through a tough time, we can show compassion. When we are showing up at work whatever the situation, we can be our very best….otherwise….why bother showing up?

Being Best in the Darkest Moments

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About the Author

Val has written several books published by McGraw-Hill including: The Winner’s Attitude, Super Service 1st & 2nd editions, The Customer Service Manager’s Toolkit, OPEN Question Selling and Business Improv.

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