delta | ‘del-ta | noun – is a mathematical symbol for difference. Often “delta” is used to describe the area that must be crossed to get from “here” to “there.”
When you first met an expert in your area of interest while still a green newcomer; there was a delta between yourself and him or her.
A turning point in an athlete can be when they perform on a national or world – wide level and perceive there is a delta between their performance and that of other athletes.
At high levels, there are often comments about how “thin the line is” or “how there is very little difference” between the very good and the great. Here too, the idea is there is a delta, or a difference, but it seems nearly invisible until the score is tallied.
Leaderboards, Scoreboards, Salaries and the like are all mathematical symbols of difference. One could go a bit further in discussing neighborhoods, homes, cars, etc….as mathematical symbols of difference as well; but that is not needed here. What is needed is understanding that athletes with the best score win.
Very seldom do winners complain about how many they won by. In fact, when looking at the ranking systems in junior golf, amateur golf, and professional golf winning is enough. There are no real calculations or advance reward for winning by a lot; but instead the Delta that is most coveted is the differences between 1st and 2nd, or making the cut and missing the cut, or finishing inside the top 10 and finishing in the bottom 10.
Very seldom do those that do not win not draw upon the experience to learn from it. Generally athletes want to use experiences to learn and grow from; so that they may move across the Delta to have a different level of performance at the next event.
As athletes, coaches, or business leaders we all have many a Delta to cross. If we are blessed, there will always be more to accomplish, more to learn, more people to inspire or lead. The Delta that matters is not the outcome of the score at a big event or the salary difference between associate and vice president; the delta that matters most is each day.
“A penny makes a dollar,” my mother would say to me. In the same way, accomplishment each day, each 1/2 day, each 3 hour block, each 1 hour block will lead to great differences. Our most important Deltas are each day. Each day accomplished will lead to each year accomplished.