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I love serendipity. That unexpected moment. The surprise experience. It’s a person, a sign, a sentence, something you see or hear that delivers a wallop. The ah-ha that forever delivers.

I had one. Last week.

Our financial advisor is Donn Pall, a veteran with Morgan Stanley. He’s smart. Personable. Helpful. Always accessible. A good listener. Sincere. And profoundly interested in what’s best for me, my wife, our family, my business and our future.
My wife and I quickly bonded with Donn. We all graduated from the University of Illinois. Plus, Donn pitched for Illinois, where he mastered a fork ball.

That dancing, dropping pitch helped Donn enjoy a terrific 10-year career as a Major Leaguer. Pitching primarily for the Chicago White Sox, yet also with four other teams. Including the Florida Marlins, where he/they won a World Series Championship in 1997.
Growing up, Donn was a rabid White Sox fan. And he was drafted by the Sox in 1985. He made his debut with them in 1988, where he spent the first five years of his career.
Donn still maintains a close relationship with the Sox.

Which is why, he invited my wife and I, to enjoy last week’s White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox game, from “Suite 249.” It’s an opportunity for Donn and his team to hang with clients in a unique, fun, relaxed way.
During the game, Donn asked, “Would you like to meet Harold Baines?” I replied, “Absolutely!”

Now, I’m a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. However, I’m a baseball fan, who always respects talent. Baines had a stellar baseball career as an outfielder/designated hitter in the American League. And he’s a legendary White Sox player.

Baines played from 1980 to 2001, with the White Sox, Rangers, Athletics, Orioles and Indians. He was a six-time All-Star. And a coach with the White Sox until 2015, when he became a spring training instructor and team ambassador.

As an ambassador, but most important, Donn’s teammate and friend, Baines stopped by to visit. That gave me the remarkable opportunity to chat with him one-to-one.
We covered his living in Maryland, his career and his golf game. (Which included a next-day round of golf with Harold’s buddy, former White Sox and Red Sox catcher and Hall of Famer, Carlton Fisk.)

Baines was affable and insightful. I asked, “Harold, before a ballgame, how’d you prepare, mentally and physically.” His answer surprised me. He replied, “The mental part was easy. I was always well-prepared and focused. The real preparation came with my study of catchers. The catcher, not the pitcher, is the one who really controls the game. They pick the pitches. And I’d study their in-game, as well as previous games tendencies, like what they’d call on the first pitch and how often.”

Whoa! How good is that?!

I then asked, “Harold, what manager did you especially enjoy playing for?” He quickly replied, “Tony LaRussa. Because he was so smart.” (LaRussa is also a lawyer.) And he successfully managed the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. (While LaRussa had a successful Major League Baseball career, it was as a manager, that he was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2014.)

Baines added, “What I also valued, is that LaRussa held me and every ballplayer, accountable.”

Brilliant! Because accountability is about being held responsible, for what you say, do, and say that you’ll do! It’s account for your actions. (And Harold told me, “If we didn’t do it, LaRussa told us. And if needed, he benched us.”)

So, how well-prepared are you for your success? Be honest. Brutally honest.
Because if you’re not honest with yourself, how the heck, will you, hold yourself accountable? How do you want to be held accountable? Especially, if it’s something you desire and value, since it’s crucial to your growth.

When others do hold you accountable, “keep your feet to the fire” or push, pull and prod you … it’s not to bully you. Instead, it’s to help you achieve and exceed your potential.
Others see the possibilities in you. Do you?

The choices you make. The preparation you take. The actions you execute. Will answer that question.
And, drive your future results!

More: Peak Your Profits: Believe. Prepare. Prosper!

More: Peak Your Profits: Is the budget really firm?

Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a "business-growth specialist." If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or jeff@jeffblackman.com. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff's free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff's books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the soon-to-be released 5th edition, of the bestselling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.

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