This article was a collaboration between Jeremy Bardwell & Steve Weigel.

This past Monday morning we launched into our Honest Media team meeting with a classic pump-up speech from our founder Jeremy. He usually has some kind of message on his heart for us – sometimes it’s serious, other times its lighthearted and relational. Either way, it always goes along with our team ethos to be “Fun & Fierce.”

The idea of fun and fierce is that in order to be effective and perform at your highest level you need both. You need to have fun in your pursuit of doing great work, but if you don’t know how to get fierce and switch into GAME TIME mode then you won’t be able to play well in high pressure situations. 

On this particular Monday the pump up speech was dead serious, and it was about the pandemic creating a scenario where we must move from routine into a GAME TIME mindset.

Whether you are needing to double down to save your business, be adaptable to homeschool, or find an extra income so you don’t lose your home – we’re all in a major GAME TIME scenario.

So let’s take a look at an interesting characteristic of those who thrive in seasons like this.

Whether you look at sports champions, business magnates, faith leaders, parents leading their homes well or even young people making great headway in life, there are two modes that those people know how to do extremely well: 

  • The First mode we will call ROUTINE: High performers all know the importance of preparation, planning, and organization. They know how to manage their lives day in and day out. They know how to be consistent and grow steadily over the long-term.
  • The Second mode we are calling GAME TIME: True crushers know how to abandon the routine and move powerfully and catalytically when opportunity hits… they know how and when to arise for daring high stress – high success situations and to exert all their energy for level-up moments. 

The interesting thing is, these two modes are almost opposite each other, and you MUST embrace BOTH to perform at your highest.  

You see, there are people that are addicted to routine, we’ll call this character in our analogy Routine Craig. Routine Craig always has a well thought through plan but he is actually quite stuck in life. When his boss comes to him with a project that could put him on the map, Routine Craig claps back at his boss that this should have been in the plan and therefore he turns the opportunity down and goes back to his neat-little-boring-box. This is what it looks like to prioritize ROUTINE over GAME TIME. 

Then there are people that live only for the game time moments. We’ll call this guy, Game Time Max. Game Time Max is suave and relies mostly on talent and intuition. Game Time Max is always looking for the next moment to be the center of attention and is ambitious for that chance to prove himself. But Game Time Max comes in late, gets bored in the everyday, and is undisciplined. Over time, Game Time Max loses credibility and is over taken by those that wisely steward their lives and resources. This is what it looks like to prioritize GAME TIME over ROUTINE. 

The truth is we must prioritize both modes equally and the only way to know which mode to be in is to develop discernment about what season you are in NOW.

It is our conviction that we are very much in a GAME TIME moment with Covid-19. It is not time for business as usual, it is time to arise, to be creative and to move forward. It is time to look critically at our lives and shift to respond to the new stimulus going on around us.

So let’s take a look at HOW to make the most of this GAME TIME moment:

Here are 4 ways to maximize your impact in a GAME TIME moment:

1. Focus

There is a lot of noise right now, but do not waste energy on the things that are not important. For us at Honest Media it requires focusing on what our greatest needs are now, and executing on that. It also requires putting some of our scheduled work on the back burner, and focusing on how to create wins in this difficult time. 

For you, the entire situation might look different than our business does and that’s ok. Different things are required from all of us at this time, but the theme is the same – this is a the time to cut out noise, major on the majors and regain focus on what matters most.

2. Preparation

Technically, the preparation should have come before the global pandemic. This trying time is just a test to see how well you were prepared. 

Chaos always tests our abilities. In this time we have a rare opportunity to clearly see what we are doing that is working and what we are doing that is not.

Take a look at your systems and processes and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what could have used more preparation. 

To let you in on my life a little, I go to this Thai Restaurant in Crystal called Nong’s. Having lived in Thailand for nearly a year, I’m pretty picky, but Nong’s is one of the only Thai restaurants in Minnesota that can deliver a truly authentic Thai experience (in my humble opinion). During this time, Nong’s is completely prepared to serve their customers without any hiccups at all! They had their take-away process so dialed in, the only thing that has changed is that they aren’t seating guests. I called to place an order the other day and the wait was an hour and a half!! A long wait, showing they are busy, but when I showed up, my food was hot and ready, no problem. They were prepared for this pandemic. 

However, there’s this taco joint I go to… they, on the other hand, were not prepared. They have almost no process in place for taking orders online or over the phone! The other day I went to get some food and was met with borderline panic upon seeing another customer walk in the door. That is not good. It took 30 minutes to get 2 tacos!! You better believe that next time, they will be prepared.  

Use this time to gauge how prepared you are (or aren’t) and make crucial adjustments for the future.

3. Openness 

One of the often overlooked characteristics of a high performer in Game Time moments is openness. Openness means that you are not too distracted, too important, or too self-protective to be disrupted. Openness means that when it gets wild all around you and everything starts changing you receive the new energy with a solution-oriented attitude. I would go so far as to call this type of openness: curiosity. A curiosity that is actually desiring to step into game time scenarios. A readiness of heart and spirit that allows you to let go of the past and create the future. This is one of the largest stumbling blocks of our ol’ boy Routine Craig. Routine Craig can never seem to find the openness and curiosity to welcome big amounts of change, even if that means his own advancement and a better outcome for the team.

Approach this time with tremendous curiosity and openness!

4. Trust

I tend to question everything and rarely take a person for face value. I think it’s easy to question someone’s motives or not trust that they have your best interest in mind. It can be good to have this kind of awareness, but is harmful to relationships, especially in a teamwork context. 

How can we be vulnerable with those around us if we don’t trust them or feel that they don’t trust us? I know what you’re thinking – vulnerability is for my therapist, my spouse and mayyyyybe my kids every now and then. I disagree. We spend ⅓ of our lives at a place of work and if you can’t express and receive trust there, you need to find a new job.

Be a person worthy of trust and your own mental health will be stronger. Be a person who trusts others because that is the foundation of deep friendship and business relationships.

Trust is important for GAME TIME moments because without it you and your working relationships will not be able to flow in the increased pressure.

So here is your permission slip:

Be validated in your discipline for adhering to your routine, BUT know when to cut loose, break the rules and passionately lay hold of the next level.

In the world as we can discern it, this is one of those moments.

This is GAME TIME.

Steve Weigel

Steve Weigel

I am a Partner and Brand Strategist at Honest Media. I love Brand Building, Travel and Motorcycles. Forever Curious.

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