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Before he won his first national basketball championship, Hakeem Olajuwon, the all-pro center for the Houston Rockets, knew that he needed to improve his 15-foot jump shot.

He was earning a million-dollar income and he had been all-pro for six consecutive years, but until he improved his jump shot, he believed his team was incapable of winning a national basketball championship. So what did he do?

Before the 1993-94 season, Hakeem went to the gym every day and practiced 500 15-foot jump shots. In 1994, when the Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in seven games against the New York Knicks, there was only one game with more than a five-point difference in the score.

Replays revealed that had Hakeem not improved his shooting percentage from 15-feet, the Knicks would have won the best- of-seven series instead of the Rockets. You can imagine, of course, how good Hakeem felt about himself for putting in those extra hours of practice. And you can imagine how popular Hakeem became with his teammates once they were champions.

And finally, you can bet that Hakeem got a hefty raise in his pay as a result of the 1994 championship, which was repeated in 1995. All of this is another way of saying that you can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

Hakeem helped his teammates, the owners, and the fans gain that championship. He was already a leader before the championship season, and because he was a leader he took the responsibility to improve his own game to help everyone win.

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By Zig Ziglar

About the Author: Zig Ziglar

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A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change. Since 1970, an extensive array of Ziglar audio, video, books, and training manuals have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, school districts, prisons, and non-profit associations, affecting lives in a profound way.
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