Letters on Leadership: One More

Baseball players swings at a ball while a catcher, in blue, reaches for the ball.

Almost every team and corporate group, with whom we are privileged to work, claim that they "work hard." Plastered on hundreds of motivational posters, the backs of T-shirts, and weight room walls are the words "Hard Work." At The Program, we believe that working hard is so important that it is one of our core principles for success; along with being physically and mentally tough, and not making excuses or letting others make them for us. However, if almost everyone out there claims to work hard, why are there so few championship teams, companies, and cultures? We believe it is because most people do not understand what it means to work hard. They may think that hard work is putting in an eight-hour day in the office. They may think it is running 10 wind sprints during practice. Very few people would agree on what constitutes hard work, although they are fairly sure that they are doing it.

At The Program, we believe that hard work is quite simply doing "One More." Our trademarked slogan is "We do One More™." We believe in the power of doing One More for a couple reasons. One, we do not believe that hard work is calculated on an aggregate basis. Hard work is not doing 100 pushups, or making 20 sales calls, or running five miles. Your competition does those things as well. We calculate hard work on a relative basis. Did you outwork your competition? Did you do one more push up? Make one more sales call? Run one more mile? When we work with teams we do all of our exercises in sets of 6, 11, 16, and 21. We let everyone else do sets of 5, 10, 15, and 20.

We will do One More. When we run, we run to the 21 yard line, the 41, the 61, and the 101. We let our competition run to the 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100. We will do One More.

Second, we believe that we all have a "One More," a vulnerability, a weakness in our game, something that if improved will make us a better athlete, doctor, teacher, or parent. If you were to think about your "One More" (very few people consider or work on their weakness) how much time could you devote each and every day to improve it? To turning your weakness into a strength? One Hour? Two Hours? More? We recommend 11 minutes. Eleven minutes every single day devoted to doing the things that scare you, that hold you back, that stop you from achieving your mission. You may not see a difference tomorrow, or next week, but we guarantee that if you can work on your One More for 11 minutes each and every day, it will not be a weakness for long.

At The Program, we don't just talk about these thing to clients. We live them every day. We would not expect anyone to hire us if that were not the case. I'm consistently amazed at the hard work of my teammates. From watching Eric Kapitulik squint bleary eyed at his computer, sending out one more email after 12 hours of travelling, to watching Sam Cila squeeze out a 6th rep on the bench press, the clanging of three 45-pound plates per side matched by the clanging of his prosthetic arm as the weight flies off his chest. From watching Ghislaine Stonaker blow by me in the pool, as she pushes herself faster and farther, to seeing Jamey Slife fight to get back in top shape after sustaining an injury that would have crippled most of us. I don't have to wonder if my teammates work hard — I see it every day. We do One More.

What is your One More?

Jake MacDonald

Lead Instructor, The Program, LLC

"Letters on Leadership" are published periodically by The Program, a leadership development and team building company that works with the nation's leading corporations as well as professional and collegiate athletic teams.

The Program is a team building and leadership development company. We have one mission: to develop better leaders and create more cohesive teams. We believe in personal development, leadership development and team building through shared adversity. Experience has shown us that we only grow as individuals and as a team when we are outside our comfort zone.