Last week I was at a game for my son’s soccer team. One of his teammates, who is typically a ball hog, dribbled until he had a bad angle and took a shot that went nowhere near the goal.
A bunch of parents shouted about his good shot.
But it was selfish play and a bad shot. He should have crossed it.
I couldn’t blame the kid. He repeatedly takes lousy shots, and the sideline shouts out accolades and affirmations. It’s rare his shots are even on goal, and even less likely for them to go in.
That Wayne Gretzky Quote
One of the quotes I see most often in business presentations is that one from hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
That’s not the whole quote, though. It’s the end of a bigger thought.
“The day I stop giving is the day I stop receiving. The day I stop learning is the day I stop growing. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
And yes, the premise is true that you do miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. However, it gives the impression that The Great One was firing off shots at every opportunity. But he wasn’t.
Gretzky has the NHL record for most goals all-time with 894 in the regular season.
Another notable item in the record books for Wayne Gretzky is the most assists in the regular season at 1,963. His assist total is more than 700 higher than the number two guy, Ron Francis.
Pass It More Than You Shoot
Wayne Gretzky scored tons of goals. I don’t think another player ever eclipses his record. And even less likely that another hockey player gets more assists than him in the NHL.
Remember this fact – he had more than twice as many assists as goals. That brings it back to the first part of his quote, “The day I stop giving is the day I stop receiving.”
He didn’t play selfishly – he directly helped his teammates score way more goals than he scored personally.
While the quote about the shots is probably his most popular one, I prefer a comment he shared in an interview a couple of years ago in Entrepreneur Magazine.
When asked which of his 60 records he’d like people to remember him for most, he responded, “Records come and go. When people remember me, I want them to say, ‘That guy worked as hard as he could on every single shift.’”
What is your work style, your work ethic? Do you go for the individual glory with each opportunity, or do you make decisions that will benefit your team the most?
Don’t be confused by clowns telling you those bad shots are good. Pass it off when somebody else has a better angle on it.