If you read my book RELENTLESS: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, you already know I categorize everyone into one of three categories: Coolers, Closers, and Cleaners.
In my work with elite athletes, I have to know whom I’m dealing with, their mental strengths and weaknesses, how far I can push them, how far they’re willing to go. One day during the off-season I looked around my gym at a dozen All-Stars and another dozen potential All-Stars, all playing in our NBA-caliber summer pickup games. Every player there was considered “great,” yet each performed at a different level with different motivations and limitations. Some were willing to go full strength, others were content to just play a little summer ball. And that’s fine with me, but I pay close attention to the subtle differences that show me how serious someone is about getting ahead of everyone else. Let’s face it: At the highest level of success in any area, everyone has reached some degree of outstanding achievement, so we’re talking about shades of greatness. But if you want to be the very best of the best, it’s the details that make the difference.
So just for my own thinking, I devised a three-tiered system categorizing different types of competitors:
Coolers, Closers, and Cleaners.
Good, Great, and Unstoppable.
You can apply these standards to any group of individuals; just look around your team, your office, your friends, your family. Everyone has a different definition of personal success. Some people allow life’s circumstances to decide for them, others decide what they want and say “good enough” when they get it. And then there are a select few who can’t even define success because they keep raising the bar on what that means. Coolers, Closers, Cleaners.
I talked about this in my recent interview with Inside Quest ; here’s a short excerpt, and of course you can read more in RELENTLESS.