Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ken Carter, “Average is Just Not Good Enough, Period.”

Jeff and I saw Coach Carter when it came out back in 2005. We thought it was a great movie. Inspirational! When we found out he was coming to the University of St Thomas to speak, we were really excited! I put it right on our calendars and starting inviting people.

If you've not seen the movie, here is a brief clip:

What would be your impression of this coach? He seems strict. He doesn't pussy-foot around. He speaks the truth. He stresses team unity. He cares about these kids.

This was not the man who showed up at St Thomas. Jeff and I were so disappointed in this speaker. Perhaps he's been doing this circuit too long. He was a goofball! It was almost like it was it was doing a stand-up comedian routine instead of a motivational speaker. He didn't seem prepared. He was repetitive. This guy loved to hear himself speak. He spoke for about an hour fifteen, and then had another 45 min of q&a (where he never really answered any questions...and there were some good questions).

There were about 4-5 guys in the audience that he continually harassed. The first couple times he smacked them on the chest, it was a little funny. BUT it continued throughout the entire speech. His big thing was that it was OK because he has personality. What kind of a message is that? He insulted them on several occasions. But  it's ok....he's got personality. I couldn't believe it!

A couple friends of ours from church came with us to this event. We were embarrassed that this was the first time we'd ever really hung out with them, and it turned out to be such a disappointment to us.

While the overall experience was unsatisfactory, he did make us laugh. He is funny. Just at times it was very inappropriate.

While many of his statements were contradictory, we did like many of his one-liners. Here are a few that struck a chord with us:
  • There is a difference between being broke and being poor. Being broke is when you don't have enough money; being poor is a state of mind.
  • Do more than you're paid for as an investment in your future.
  • Don't get paid by the hour, get paid for the value you bring to the hour.
  • What you think is what you become.
  • What you do a lot, you will do well; what you do well, you will do a lot.
  • Success is only 6" away - the distance from one ear to the other.
  • Knowledge is not power, using it is.
  • If you write something down, it is 10x more likely to happen.
  • You have to improve yourself 1% each day. In 100 days, you'll be 100% better.
  • Every night write down your greatest accomplishment. Then when you're having a bad day, read over that journal for some validation. It will turn your day around.
  • You  need to be a good follower before you can be a great leader.
  • Haters are just misdirected fans.
  • What is the world going to be like if you don't reach your full potential? 
  • A goal is a great idea with a deadline.
  • Successful people will go from one failure to the next enthusiastically.
  • As we let our light shine, we inspire others to do so.
  • Spring follows winter every year.
  • You will never accomplish anything great when you're comfortable.
In and of themselves, these lines could be motivational.

During the lecture, I had a pretty good time, actually. I was laughing. hard. Then it went on and on and on. The jokes weren't as funny any more.

After it was over, and we were talking about our experience, we realized just how mediocre it was.

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