It's all about goals
Here's a recommendation with a message that we'd all like to receive. It's from Roger Mosey former boss of Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.
"It's a miracle that a great footballer can also turn into one of the best television presenters of his generation," he wrote.
Most viewers are comfortable with Lineker's TV skills and crisp summaries. Football is his main area of expertise and the BBC allow him to work for rival networks too.
His position as front man for Golf though has opened up a lively debate as to whether or not he’s good enough for this particular role. The behind the scenes rows are making headline news.
But it’s the reference from his boss that interests me. “It’s a miracle,” says the former BBC suit. Frankly I don’t wear it.
It’s not a miracle. There’s a much simpler explanation which we can all benefit from.
When Lineker was at Tottenham I was working for Thames Television in London as Sports Correspondent. It was my job to cover the sports news in the Capital and so Spurs was on my patch.
I can’t begin to add up how many hours I spent waiting for footballers after training or matches. Hanging around with a cameraman to grab a word with a player for the benefit of millions of interested Thames TV viewers.
Throw in rain, hail, snow and sometimes energy sapping heat and you get a glimpse that a reporter’s lot is not as glamorous as it may seem.
With Lineker it was different. Whenever we made an approach to interview Gary he rarely refused. He was always pleasant, accommodating and good value. He delivered interesting answers in a straightforward and easy going manner.
But more than that he also volunteered to come into the studio to be interviewed. Only he can say if he was already thinking of what he might do on retirement but his studio appearances included the same routine.
He’d ask questions. Ten to a dozen. What does he do? What’s her job? What’s that for? How does this work and so on and so on.
In all honesty I was hard pushed to answer a fraction of them but that’s not the point.
He wanted to learn all about the TV presenting job from inside the television studio. To understand the basics so that should he pursue a job on the telly after football he knew something about it.
I asked him once if he ever thought about what he was going to say before his interviews. As so many of his colleagues ‘winged it’ and their performances confirmed a lack of preparation.
Lineker said he always had an idea of what he wanted to say and practiced some of it beforehand.
And there’s the secret. It’s not a miracle. It’s good old common sense.
If you want to do something well, be it football, cricket, build a website or sell oranges you must practice. You work out for yourself what works and what doesn’t. You ask questions to fill the gaps in your knowledge. You think about what you want to say and so on.
If you’re a believer then miracles can happen. But in reality goal setting is the answer. Just ask England’s second highest ever goal scorer. (I know Rooney just equalled it.)
So if you want to get on, your daily ritual should include practice, preparation and planning. It won’t necessarily get you to heaven but it could well help you in every other way.