Tim, an authority in performance training has trained champions - Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to name two - and several more, so he knows what he is talking about. He basically says that there are three types of people - the Coolers (who are good), the Closers (who are great) and the Cleaners (who are unstoppable). He explains through the book the mindset that a Cleaner has to be unstoppable, to excel in a fashion that one is an icon.
He says that it takes years of tireless dedication and hard work to build a legacy. One line I loved was - the difference between feedback and criticism is how you hear it. He says if you want to excel you cannot wait to be told what to do and how to do it. You should develop a relentless drive for the end results and let nothing stop in the way. You have to shut out all the pressure and trust your instincts and natural ability and NOT THINK. A Cleaner gets to the top, stays there, climbs higher and is only judged by the results.
The formula is - Decide, Commit, Act, Succeed, Repeat. Success isn't about talent. Follow your instinct, face the truth, get rid of excuses. Get everyone to your level, don't go to theirs. Don't ever lose connection with the end result. Forget about losing and about trying. When you accomplish, don't explain.
The Cleaner you are, the dirtier you get. Greatness makes you a legend, but being the best makes you an icon. Cleaner's attitude is - I own this. Cleaners take responsibility for everything. They don't blame others, they are rule breakers, have a dark side, are self-made, know what they are worth, are never satisfied and are addicted to success. They don't believe in luck, only in circumstances and outcomes.
Some differences between Coolers, Closers and Cleaners - Coolers wait to be told how to go about it, follow the leader, can handle some pressure and are normally the set up guy. Closers can handle a lot of pressure, if you tell them they get the job done, are uncomfortable with the unexpected, seek attention and credit and financial security over winning. Cleaners can handle anything, they just do it, they don't need to be asked, always want more, are in charge and create opportunity.
Tim gives thirteen points that explain what Cleaners are about
- A Cleaner pushes harder when everyone else has had enough
Don't talk says Tim. Know. Train your mind first and then the body. Show up, work hard, do the work. Everyday do something you don't want to do. Do the hardest things first, no task is too big. Be comfortable doing the uncomfortable.
- A Cleaner gets into the zone, shuts out everything, controls the uncontrollable
In the zone you're detached from everything on the outside. Total concentration. You're not thinking. Emotions make you weak - the only exception is anger. Control your feelings, don't let them control you.
- A Cleaner knows exactly who he is
Know exactly who you are. Stop waiting to be taught what you already know. People don't change. Trust your instincts.
- A Cleaner has a dark side that refuses to be taught how to be good
Instinct is one half of the formula. You need the dark side. Harness the dark side - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The dark side is your fuel, your energy.
- A Cleaner is not intimidated by pressure, thrives in it
Be always ón'. Know stress that creates results and stress that causes chaos. Don't feel external pressure, believe what's inside you.
- A Cleaner is the person who everyone looks for in a crisis
Nothing is difficult to the Cleaner - whatever happens he will know what to do. When you can laugh at yourself and not take every setback seriously, that's confidence. Don't care about what others think. A Cleaner adjusts the situation to himself, not locked into one plan.
- A Cleaner doesn't compete with anyone, finds the opponents weakness and attacks
Gets everyone on his level. Takes control and determines what to do to get results. To light others, be lit inside.
- A Cleaner makes decisions, not suggestions, has answers while everyone is still asking questions
- A Cleaner may not love the work, but is addicted to the results
I 'do this'. What would you have to sacrifice to become what you really want. What are you willing to sacrifice. (The two lists must match) Know what you have to give up to do the work.
- A Cleaner is rather feared than liked
We're born bad, and taught to be good. Born relentless and taught to relent. To be feared and not liked, let them know by your actions, not words or emotions. Be noticed for excellence. You don't need your friends, your friends need you.
- A Cleaner trusts few people, and they better not let him down
A Cleaner needs people around him who tell the truth, needs people who want him to succeed, who recognise what it takes to be successful.
- A Cleaner doesn't recognise failure, finds a different way to get results
Failure is what happens when you decide you failed. What's your vision? What does your gut tell you?
- A Cleaner doesn't celebrate achievement because he wants more
Done. Next. That's the Cleaner's motto.
Tim says that one can do it with what one already has. All we need to do is to listen to our voice.
Tim says - follow those visions and dreams and desires and believe what you know. Never stop until you do. Be your toughest opponent. Remember we have zero limitations. I want to know that every move I make, every thought, every action takes me further than anyone else has ever gone and made me better at what I do than anyone else in the world.
I enjoyed reading the book and certainly some points make immense sense. The Cooler, Closer, Cleaner comparisons are very well put. One can visualise Virat Kohli as a Cleaner but then a Cleaner looks like an individual great and not a great leader. Compassion and empathy seem to be missing from the hard work ethic, the desire and ability to grow others. The Cleaner looks like a brilliant individual, a Level 4 leader. It's a great template to follow up till individual brilliance which is what Tim aims to do. By then hopefully one gets the compassion and empathy of a Level 5 leader too.