Currently I live equidistant between the main campuses of Harvard and MIT; needless to say there is a high IQ index and one is easily humbled. But over the last two or three weeks I have become preoccupied with the idea of champions.
A few weeks back I was in one of my favorite coffee shops and I overheard a small group talking. It was obvious this group was meeting for the first time, as they were making introductions and detailing a shopping list of their skills and assets. One of the introductions, however, caught me off gaurd.
“Hi, my name is [fill-in-the-blank], and I am a champion project manager“
I immediately began thinking about this phrase, wondering what it meant to be a champion. The blogosphere and twitter are full of titles like professional, expert, guru, ninja, etc. Everyone tries to come up with the catchy, trendy title; but what do they mean? What does it mean to be more than an expert? What does it mean to be a champion?
With all of these question racing in my head a grabbed out a piece of paper and started writing down some of the characteristics of a champion.
The Characteristics of a Champion:
- Champions are not defined in a moment. Champions are defined through a history of excellence; champions rise through a journey.
- Being a champion does not mean perfection; plenty of champions screw up. A champion comes back from a mistake stronger and more determined. A champion comes out on top.
- Champions are not self-proclaimed. A champion is given their title by a group of their peers, colleagues, or even competition.
- Champions are not permanent and require self-improvement. A champion is always challenged and never stops learning or growing.
Here is a shortlist of some people I consider champions. I have a learned a lot from every person on this list, and if I haven’t met you, I look forward to thanking you in person some day.
- Champion Presenter: Garr Reynolds (@presentationzen)
- Champion Blogger: Seth Godin
- Champion Evangelist: Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki)
- Champion Innovator: Clayton Christensen
- Champion Photographer: Scott Kelby (@scottkelby)
- Champion Thinker/Reformer: Lawrence Lessig (@lessig)
- Champion in Social Media: Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) and Laura Fitton (@pistachio)
*Sorry, I couldn’t settle on one social media champion. Maybe Laura and Chris will just have to battle it out?
What are your ideas of a champion?
Who are your champions?
(Please comment below)