3 Steps to Become an All-Star

Who wouldn’t want to be an All-Star?

We’re not talking strictly sports here:  let’s broaden the definition of an All-Star as someone who’s recognized for being an outstanding performer.

All-Stars aren’t just especially lucky.  Their achievements are based on some key fundamentals, ones that we can all replicate.

My 10 year old son, Alexander, has played in the same basketball league at our local YMCA (YBL) for the last 4 years.  Each year the YBL has an All-Star game at the end of the season.  Each team coach selects two players to be on the All-Star team.

Alexander really, really wants to be an All-Star this year.   He’s talks about it a lot.

He’s analyzed the play of all of his teammates:  how John is a good shooter, but never looks to pass, Rowan plays good defense, but can’t dribble, and Lisa (the coach’s daughter) is tall and can score over defenders, but doesn’t hustle enough.Alexander has got the team’s ability perfectly ranked and ordered.  In his own mind.

In that ranking, he’s definitely in the top two.  He’s got All-Star locked up.

There’s only one small problem:  picking All-Stars is not his decision to make.  It doesn’t matter how bulletproof his logic seems to him:  it’s Coach’s call.The YBL season is halfway over.  There’s still plenty of time before All-Star selection.

If Alexander is truly committed to making the YBL All-Star team, he’ll have to follow three steps:  the same three steps that the rest of us need to follow to be recognized for outstanding performance:

1.  ASK the decision maker what you need to do to be selected.

Hope is not a strategy.  Getting clear data on what you need to do gives you a clear sense of the gap between where you are and where you want to be.  You don’t need to be a mind reader–just go ahead and ask.   Yes, you have permission.

For example, in our city, the Arts Council awards grants to aspiring artists.  Each artist needs to apply for their monetary award.  Of the 800 artists who applied last year, how many asked the council about the status of their grant, and what they could do to improve chances of their application?

Only two.

What percentage of those two received their full award?


If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

2.  LISTEN to their response.

If you’re going to take the time to get feedback, then listen to what’s being said.

A colleague, Martha, told me about a train-the-trainer program she was in last week. There were 9 facilitators learning a new program.  Each had to get up and deliver a section of the course to each other, then get immediate feedback.

Martha told me that of the 9, only 4 actually wrote any of their colleague’s feedback down.You can’t implement what you can’t recall.

3.  ACT on the feedback shared.

The decision maker will give you a detailed map, outlining what you need to do to get to your desired destination.  Take that feedback and chunk it out into discreet action steps.

Prioritize the actions steps.

Then get to work.

Your All-Star selection awaits you.

What tips do you have to share on getting feedback from decision makers?  Join the conversation by commenting below.

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