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Motivate Your Team Like the Pros

Call it commitment. Call it attitude. Call it drive. Call it what you like but there's no denying the power that can be unleashed when you make up your mind to put in a single extra degree of effort in everything you do. That's the simple but deeply compelling message of 212 The Extra Degree, the book the 2006 Chicago Bears looked to for inspiration during their impressive run to the Super Bowl.

This brief excerpt frames the message in an unforgettable metaphor that can transform your life and your organization.

"At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive."

"Raising the temperature of water by one extra degree means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine—a beautiful, uncomplicated metaphor that ideally should feed our every endeavor—consistently pushing us to make the extra effort in every task we undertake. 212 serves as a forceful drill sergeant with its motivating and focused message while adhering to a scientific law—a natural law. It reminds us that seemingly small things can make tremendous differences."

Focusing on the dedication necessary to achieve important objectives, the authors caution, "There are no real secrets to success. Success in anything has one fundamental aspect—effort. To achieve exponential results requires additional effort. Take your courses. Read your books. Listen to your tapes. But take action. Take action with commitment. Then, when you're ready for exponential results apply the extra effort. Sometimes you'll realize the benefits of your extra effort much farther down the road. Regardless, in many cases, it may only be that one extra push that gets you ten time the results you were attempting to originally obtain."

Through a series of fascinating facts, 212 The Extra Degree goes on to explore the often infinitesimal difference between victory and defeat—and the exponential increase in rewards the victor enjoyed in each case. Did you know?:

"The average margin of victory for the last 25 years in all major (golf) tournaments combined was less than three strokes. From 2000 through 2004, the winner across all tournaments took home an average of 76% more in prize dollars than the second place finisher."

"The average margin for victory (in the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 combined) for the past 10 years has been 1.54 seconds. The prize money for second place was less than half the winner's."

Arm your team with this powerful metaphor and the knowledge of the significant difference it can make and you'll find great success is within reach—with just a single extra degree of effort.