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Sanity Zone 11-16-2016 -- 42

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Posted 11-16-2015 at 05:31 PM by xan


If you are going to be successful at anything in life, you must answer why you are doing what you are doing. "What", while important, is not motivating. "How", again, critical to success, but it's not enough. If you have no unifying vision of why you do what you do, there will be no commitment, no sacrifice, no struggle, and ultimately, no success.

For 5 years, there has been no "why". Before 2009, the "why" was evident. Why be a Saint? The result is not why. That's an outcome. To win games. To earn money. To be "the best we can be." Not whys. Those are whats. Play good defense, read secondaries, hustle to the ball. All hows.

Not why.

I don't think anyone on this or recent past Saints teams can answer why. If a player or coach can't answer that fundamental question, why he is on this team doing what he does for them, then success is an accident. It usually means the competitor understands less.

Why is personal. Why is motivational. Why is existential. Why is the core of our being. Why gets us out of bed to go out in the cold and rain. Why makes us work harder, think smarter, care more and give more.

We need to help answer this. Clearly the coaching staff, ownership and players don't know.

Let's help them.
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  1. Old Comment
    That all sounds nice, but the truth is that the motivation of "why" is different for some people. An ethical person can have an almost unlimited amount of reasons for doing things.

    When you're talking about professional athletes, for some (not all) it's all about fame and fortune. Same goes for any kind of celebrity, really. Others genuinely have something to prove, want to win, want to use their money for a lot of good causes, etc.

    If you're trying to figure out why some players or coaches seem like they don't have any direction in what they're doing, it's probably because they don't have any and don't feel like they need it. They're millionaires. That's WHY they do what they do. Everyone starts with some kind of higher purpose to get where they are. But some people, when they get there, feel like they've arrived and their priorities change. Now it's about creating and maintaining a superficial image. It's not that they don't have a motivation, at all. It's that they don't have the RIGHT motivation for the team's sake.
    Posted 11-16-2015 at 11:31 PM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline

  2. Old Comment
    xan's Avatar
    Of course motivation will be different from person to person. The problem is, there are too many conflicting motivations in the Saints' organization, and no unifying vision of why.

    People who focus on being rich, usually aren't. If you can't answer the question "Why am I doing what I'm doing" and be able to have buy-in from others, there will be no success.

    Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream".

    He didn't say, "I have a plan."

    Massive difference. The dream can be personalized. The plan cannot. If you don't buy into the plan, you have chaos. If we resonate with the why, we get the commitment to give what endowment we have to the vision. We can agree to a plan because we can arrive at a common goal.

    If you look at the most persistently successful companies, they all know why they do things, and the people working at them buy in. Apple, Facebook, Boeing, Monsanto, The New England Patriots.

    Everyone wants to be successful, so what.

    They know how. Learn from them.
    Posted 11-20-2015 at 11:19 AM by xan xan is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Man, I think you are trying to be entirely too philosophical with this one. You are going the long way of essentially answering your own question. And the answer is what I said above. A person, organization or business that appears to have a lack of direction (or not knowing the why, as you like to put it) have just exactly that... A lack of direction.

    People are not pulling from the same end of the rope. It's coaches with different visions, scouting and personnel departments with differing philosophies from what the head coach is looking for. Things of that nature. It isn't that they don't know why, in my opinion. It's that they can't agree. That doesn't necessarily mean they don't have the same goal. They have different ideas of getting there, and you either find a way to make it fit together, or you have to bring in somebody else.

    Not every success comes from people being in perfect harmony. A collection of ideas can be a good thing, as long as they are good ideas, and there are no ego's blocking the way. In the case of the Saints, I think it's simply that they can't get it right. Not in recent years, anyway.

    When I gave my reply above, I was trying to sift through what you seem to be implying, and I gave a response targeted specifically at people who just aren't into it, to put it simply. People who are just there to collect a paycheck.

    But while I can point to a few members of the organization who seem like they may be doing that, I don't think it's a lack of knowing "why" that is this team's problem. They just haven't been good. Bad scouting, bad playcalling at times, and bad play on the field. I don't think the Saints brass went from winning a Superbowl, to suddenly forgetting why they do this. They've just failed to consistently identify talent, and to adjust to a league that is constantly changing. Some people are good at adapting... Others, not so much.

    By the way, Martin Luther King's dream came from a faith he had. He spoke what he believed, but his words would have meant nothing without the actions of others. It took a lot of people working together to change the society from what it was. Not that it's exactly awesome these days. That's a vastly different thing than having a plan for a football team.

    This is not even close to being the same thing. The dream, in this case, is to even be in that position. And the plan is to do whatever you've done to get there, and hopefully improve upon it. I'm not sure what your definition of a plan is. This is football. You put together a team, you have a system, you run the system. You adjust as necessary.... Again, the latter being something the Saints haven't done well.
    Posted 11-21-2015 at 06:13 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  4. Old Comment
    As for your comment about people who focus on being rich usually not being so. That's only true if you're talking about someone who's just dreaming of being rich. Some people have a plan. Which brings me back to my confusion of why you think it's better to dream than to have a plan. I think the reality is that it takes both. You gotta have the ambition, the drive, and then you have to know what you're doing as much as why. One is nothing without the other.

    What hurts some people (again, this is not necessarily about the Saints) is that when they have reached a certain point, they continue to focus on the riches, and they lose interest in the hard work and dedication it took to get there. The pride comes before the fall. That is a true statement that comes to fruition in many different ways.
    Posted 11-21-2015 at 06:51 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
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