When Mark Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks, they went from NBA laughing stock to perennial winners literally overnight. (Check the win-loss record for the year Cuban bought the team. It will blow your mind.)
One of the many things Cuban brought to the organization that helped turn it around was a “No Excuses” policy. What made this powerfully effective is that he applied this policy to himself as the owner.
He created a physical environment in which the team would work where they would have “No Excuse” for losing. He paid the team very well, brought in specialty coaches, well-known chefs, nutritionists, personal masseuses, custom-made cushions for the bench, giant luxury towels, video games with flat screens in each locker and a private Dallas Mavericks jet to travel in.
Keep in mind: at the time, no other team in the league was doing this for their players. (Some are today.) The team was totally taken care of in every facet of their lives. They even had their very own team chaplain in nationally-known pastor Dr. Tony Evans.
The players knew very quickly that the owner was invested, both financially and emotionally, in meeting their needs. In turn, the team took on the same “No Excuses” policy when it came to performing and contributing their own assets to the organization. This “No Excuses” policy has worked beautifully, resulting in 50-plus wins for 11 (going on 12) consecutive years––a modern era NBA record.
Like the Mavs, you need to create a “No Excuses” environment where failure is not an option. But it’s not necessarily about creating a luxury environment like the Mavericks have. It’s really about creating an effective environment for you as an individual, where you can operate like a true professional.
Only you know what the right place with the right vibe feels like. It’s got to be a place you want to go everyday and build something meaningful. It can be as simple as a desk in your room, the local library, or even a coffee shop.
The most important thing is that you treat it like a sacred workplace, much as Eminem did with a place he called his “Lab” on 8 Mile Rd. There, the rapper created an environment—in a trailer park, no less—where he could dream, visualize and write rhymes that would eventually be heard (and paid for!) by millions.
Eminem was on a mission. So are you.
Image by somewhatfrank