7-1-17: Words of Wisdom Dr. Gervais and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks
by Greg Dowell – I recently heard an interview with Dr. Michael Gervais, who is the team psychologist for the Seattle Seahawks. Dr. Gervais has been profiled by many leading media outlets for the work he does with elite performers. He was also one of the professionals who Coach Pete Carroll credited for the success of the Seahawks, and for his contributions to the victory in the 2014 Super Bowl. Gervais also coaches Olympic athletes, skydivers, and others who push themselves to the limit of human achievement and endurance.
Many of the comments about his philosophy resonated with me. Gervais talked about the need to make oneself uncomfortable if we truly want to go beyond the norm; keeping within a comfort zone and failing to challenge oneself will inhibit growth. He talks about working very hard to be in the moment, to not allow oneself to get up in anxiety. He talks about being present, so that one can thoroughly enjoy another’s company. He talks about calming the mind and maintaining perspective: “There are no such things as a big moment, there’s just another moment”.
He also related the three rules that Pete Carroll has for the Seahawks. I don’t know how much Gervais influenced these rules, but they are powerful:
1. Always protect the team – take care of each other.
2. Own it – no whining, no complaining, no excuses, and no pointing fingers.
3. Be early – this is not just about being on time, but about being ready and prepared. Organize your life so that no one is waiting on you.
While these clearly worked for a football team, these three simple rules can be applied to any business and to any individual. I suggest you read them again and again, maybe jot them down and refer to them in a week or so. Enjoy!