Five Keys for the Big Game

Category: Brad on Business published on: 5/30/2016  by Brad Cowart

Sports history is full of teams and individuals who won when they should not have. They did not pay attention to the odds, analysts or what everyone expected. They just concentrated on what they were supposed to do and played the big game as if it were any other and for a few the results were amazing.

For example, the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team had no chance against the powerful Russian team … yet they won. Broadway Joe of the New York Jets boldly predicted his team would trounce the stronger Baltimore Colts team. Whether this was bravado or inspiration, the Jets did win Super Bowl III.

Yes, most times the underdog does not succeed, but when they do everyone talks about it, and sometimes this victory sparks a dynasty. The New England Patriots won a Super Bowl in 2001 when everyone thought they were over matched. Look at what they’ve accomplished since.

So what lessons can business take from these underdog overachievers? Here are five tips to help you focus and achieve your goals:

Success Begins in the Mind

Visualize what you want to accomplish and keep that foremost in your mind. Working toward a goal will allow you to put today’s problems in perspective and press on. Thinking about the goal also provides structure. Emergencies sometimes consume the day. Determine the most important thing to do now and concentrate on doing it well.

Plan and Act

Planning, coupled with the belief that you can find a way, is unstoppable. Sometimes you need to quit looking for the best way and just go do it. The plan is a framework, but the execution is in the details.

Persistence Beats Talent

The tortoise and the hare tale is a classic, yet it applies to business. Chipping away, learning and improving constantly will win in the end over a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach. However, when you combine persistence and talent the results can be explosive.

Resilience is Essential

Life happens and unforeseen problems arise. In the Patriots vs. Rams Super Bowl, the Patriots led most of the game. But with 1:33 seconds left, they found themselves tied. All their efforts had produced a deadlock, and the Rams were picking up momentum. At this juncture a lesser team may have played for overtime. Not the Patriots. They kept the goal in mind, followed the game plan and executed on every play. They were persistent, and as the clock expired, the winning field goal sailed over the crossbar. Wow!

Champions Never Rest

Okay, so you’ve done all this and built a great business. Time to relax and watch the money roll in. Wrong. When you are the champion, be aware that someone always wants to take your place. All you have done so far is to move your business from challenger to top dog. Now the work continues as you have to fend off upstart companies who want to steal your position. Don’t let them.

Suit up. It’s time to play the big game!