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Positive Sum Games Don't Require Natural Talent


It just dawned on me - there's the "you can do anything, be anything, have anything" crowd - and obviously, that's not literally true. Could anyone play professional golf and win the Masters and perform as first chair violin at a prestigious symphony? Nah, probably not.

But I always think to myself, "I can do anything except the things I can't do yet, and I could learn those and do them if I want to." Most successful people I know think the same way.

Trying to reconcile that, I start thinking: You might need natural talent to win at a zero-sum game, or if you're competing for limited pieces of pie.

But you don't need natural talent for positive sum games. Positive sum games make multiple winners and expand the pie more than what the person eats.

NBA? On the court, it's a zero sum game. Every "W" in the win column comes at the expense of putting an "L" in another team's loss column. There's 5 starters, and if you want to start, you've got to take someone else's spot when they retire or get sent to the bench. Then there's a few more rotation spots, and a few more non-rotation bench spots. And that's pretty much it.

Phil and Bill - Comparing the greatest NBA and NFL coaches of my life to date.

On The 4 Hour Struggle

Phil Jackson: 6'8", athletic, and charismatic. A former player that had the respect of everyone. 11 rings as a head coach and 2 as a player. A practitioner of Zen Buddhism.

Bill Belichick -- Too small to play football, son of a coach and scout. Uncharismatic, but has been studying film since he was 9 years old. He gained respect by his knowledge of the game. 4 rings as a head coach and 2 as a defensive coordinator.

Jackson was a master of dealing with egos. In the NBA, guys like Kobe, Jordan, Shaq, don't come around very often. So as a head coach, it is much more difficult to have only "your type of guys" if you want to win an NBA championship when compared to the NFL.

When Chicago was going on their 2nd run, they recognized a need for interior defense. After clearing it with Scottie and Michael, they traded for Dennis Rodman and Phil assimilated the enigmatic player into a key piece in the 1996-98 3peat.

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