Today, during practice 21 with eight OSU grapplers headed to Madison Square Garden and the NCAA championship, I reminded them that the two most damaging words in the English language are “good job.” We watched a scene out of the movie Whiplash to visually drive home the point. These men have greatness in them and a unique opportunity in front of them. The enemy is not the opponent but the mind. The enemy is settling for less than their absolute best. The same is true for you and for me.
You see, as Collins noted in his oft read but rarely understood book titled Good to Great – “Good is the enemy of great.” This is why, leader, you’ve got to be so demanding. You don’t demand excellence because you’re demeaning. Au contraire. You demand excellence because excellence is possible. Your job, remember, is to make your team do what they can.
The Ohio State University grapplers are not simply another good team with a decent chance of doing alright over at the Garden. The Ohio State University grapplers are an excellent team capable of greatness. The next few days represent an opportunity for them to perform at their individual and collective best. They will be tested by the best. Coach Ryan and his team of coaches are not going along to simply cheer them on and tell them “good job.” Nope, it’s not. Demand greatness, leader. Make them do what they can. Good.