Three Core Principles for Success
Retired NBA basketball player delivers scholarship luncheon talk
Standing 7’ tall, Tim McCormick moved around the Detroit Athletic Club talking to college students at the MIR Foundation’s 14th Annual Scholarship Luncheon on June 14th. “I have been attending this event for all 14 years,” said Nabby Yono, former chairman of the MIRA board to McCormick after his talk, “and, this is by far one of the best keynotes we have ever had.”
McCormick is a retired American professional basketball player from Detroit who played eight seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Asking questions to the scholarship recipients, McCormick engaged the audience throughout his 20-minute talk.
He shared strategies and success ideas for the students to take out into the real world and to “knock them dead,” he noted. “I love being around young people who are hungry and passionate and who can’t wait to get out there and achieve their goals and dreams.”
McCormick acknowledged the hard work of the parents in the room for raising such kids and wish all the dad’s a happy Father’s Day. “I only have 20 minutes to change your life,” he said, comments followed by laughter. He introduced himself in a one-minute monologue that recapped 40 years of his life that included several knee surgeries and being traded to various NBA teams during his basketball career.
McCormick holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Michigan. He has worked as a consultant with NBA players over the last two decades teaching strategies to improve performance. He also runs the NBA Players Association’s TOP 100 Basketball Camp for the elite one hundred high school players in the nation. He is the author of Never Be Average.
The former New York Knicks player shared three core principles that he believes are necessary to reach a level of excellence. “You must have a Gameplan. Success is not random,” he said. There is a reason why certain people whine and complain while another group just gets things done.” He continued to share personal stories of having been coached by Patrick Riley and playing against Michael Jordon. He recalled a message from his great coach just before a game against the Chicago Bulls, “No one is going to give you anything in life, you have to go out there and take it.” McCormick went on to say, “If you don’t have a great gameplan, you will get beat by those who do.”
The second core principle McCormick suggested is to Build Your Brand, “Who you are, what you stand for and where you are going with your life,” he said. “I feel this generation is missing out on having a great brand.” He went on to explain five actions to building a brand:
- Start your day with enthusiasm.
- Have a strong handshake.
- Eye contact offers a window into your soul
- A big a smile is a single greatest sign that a relationship is going well
- Be likable.
People do business with others they like, respect and trust. “Ask questions and care about people. That is branding. If you develop a strong brand, you will dominate and be unstoppable,” he continued.
The third core principle is Hard Work. It is the most basic building block of championship performance. He continued the story of his father’s encouragement to work hard as a basketball player. “Be committed, my dad said.” He had a goal to improve his game one percent every day and that is exactly what McCormick did for years until he ended up as an NBA player.
Continuing the luncheon program, Juan Escareno, MIRA Director of Government Relations, delivered a mediation sharing a reading from St. Thomas Aquinas and Mike Cavin, of RNDC – and one of the luncheon’s sponsors – led the participants in singing the National Anthem. MIRA president and CEO, Ed Weglarz, served as the Master of Ceremonies, introduced all the winners and presented them with their scholarship checks.