Updated: Jan 30, 2020
The Flow Zone is not a waterpark. It is a Mindset. It's where you perform at your highest level and consistently play your best game.
Over the last 5 seasons (forgive me, but hockey still holds its residual impact on my language), while training hundreds of corporate clients, we have been thrilled by the intense interest around how to implement the 5th Mindset of our Thinking Tendencies Model, the FLOW/ZONE.
We have now trained thousands of CEO’s and many of their companies to increase team and cultural performance through intentional metacognition and the skill of SHIFTING through the 5 mindsets that drive performance in their people.
Remember, Flow is not past thinking or future thinking, flow is in the now, in the moment. As we now live in the most distracting time in human history, being intentional about increasing focus and expanding our Flow/Zone, may well be the key skill to develop in 2020. We believe this to be the cutting edge, where sport and business collide.
Athletes have understood and experienced this state of mind forever, but until now have struggled to give it a name and struggled to find ways to train its expansion.
As many of you know, I participated on the professional stage in the National Hockey League for 17 seasons as a player and coach. At the NHL level we called this state “playing in the zone,” and looking back I think that I recognized when I was out of the flow state more than I did when I was fully in.
During our current travels across the world, Montreal Canadiens fans will sometimes stop me in an airport or during a corporate training session and congratulate me for winning the Stanley Cup in 1986. Some of the fans go on to talk about being in the building, cheering us on, and reminisce about how the noise of the crowd was such a big part of the ‘86 win.
I always hate saying this to fans, but I have to tell the truth: “Sorry, I never heard you; I never saw you; were you in the building?”
That sounds harsh, but at the highest level of sport, where all teams have talent and skill, total concentration and staying in flow becomes the learned winning advantage.
"Concentration is the root of all the higher abilities in man" - Bruce Lee
“I'm sure you've been told: ‘time is your most precious resource.’ It's not, attention is.”
Scotty Bowman, whom many believe to be the all-time greatest coach in hockey, told me the following story while I was interviewing him for my book with friend and co-author Mike Johnston, Simply the Best: Insights and Strategies from Great Hockey Coaches, comprised of interviews with the top 12 coaches in the NHL on how to coach the highest performance in people.
As we finished up the interview, Scotty told me about a time when the Professional Golf Association invited him to be the “scorer” for Tiger Wood’s foursome for the full round.