Have you ever chosen a role & after a few months you realize it was not be the best option for you? Next to choosing the right profession, choosing the right role & company ranks a very close second. I have many conversations with clients who are seeking to make a good decision. I was reminded of this in a 60 Minutes segment about the sport polo. To be frank, I was quite ignorant about the game, its rules & history.
The size of the polo field is the equivalent of 9 football fields, there are 6 chukkers (periods) that are 7 minutes long, each player can change out their horse every 3 minutes. Teams consists of 4 players & the aim of the game is to score through the posts. Think soccer with horses. Each professional polo player needs to bring 14 horses on tour. Polo horses mature at the age of 7 & are know as the ‘Ferrari’ of horses, with a combination of speed & stop-start handling. They go up to 35 mph in speed & cost ranges from $50-$200k – no wonder they call it the game of kings. The game of polo is best described as playing golf in an earthquake.
The current “Tiger Woods” of polo is Nacho Figueras. He grew up relatively poor in Argentina & was obsessed with polo from the age of 7. At age 38 he now lives the life of royalty. He travels 7 months of the year, to places such as to Dubai, Tokyo & Beijing. He earns over $1 million dollars a year for being the “face” for which consumer brand? If you guessed Polo, you are indeed correct.
When asked what is the number 1 element to success in playing the game. He shared, “It is choosing the right horse. The right horse has a combination of speed, agility, mental soundness, and competitiveness just like humans.“
Nacho has created a set of criteria each horse needs to have. If they don’t meet the criteria, he will not “hire” them. See, no matter how talented or the amount of blood sweat & tears, if you don’t choose the right “horse”, you sabotage your potential.
The wrong choice is not only something that can hold you back in the sport of polo, it can also hold you back in your career. Too many professionals are much more selective about the kind of car they will buy, than when choosing the right role & company.
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One other principle Nacho shared “I am not the most talented guy. It is a combination of blood, sweat & hard work, but I never give up.” Even if you choose the right profession & the right role there is the other ‘X’ factor.
Never giving up, along the road with you!