Last night the Miami Heat ended their 27-game winning streak. It was the second longest streak in the history of American major pro sports. Pat Riley is the president of the Miami Heat.
The longest streak in major league sports history is the 33 consecutive games won by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Pat Riley played on that team and averaged seven points a game during that streak.
In between those two streaks Pat Riley coached the Los Angeles Lakers to four NBA championships and the Miami Heat to one NBA championship as a coach and one NBA Championship as the team’s president.
In 1993 Pat Riley wrote the book, The Winner Within. He described one of his processes for getting people to constantly improve. He called it “Your Career Best Effort.” He measured all 12 players in five areas and challenged them to improve by 1% over the previous season. He wrote, “As we saw it, a one percent improvement in five areas for twelve players gave us a 60 percent increment.” He developed that system for the 1986-1987 season when he was coaching the Los Angeles Lakers. Over the next two seasons the Lakers won the first back-to-back NBA championships in 20 years.
How are your improving your performance each day? It is the small continuous incremental improvements that make all the difference. Riley wrote, “Our goal was to leverage subtle improvements versus other high-level competitors.” What will be your subtle improvements today, tomorrow, the day after that, and…?