Monday, December 2, 2013

Winners expect to win in advance

Did you watch football over the weekend? Whether you watched college or professional football, or even the news, you saw a clip of one of the most exciting plays in sports history.

During the tied Alabama v. Auburn game, with one second left on the clock, Alabama attempted a field goal for the win. Since Alabama was ranked #1 and has won three of the last four national championships, it was reasonable to assume the kick would go through or the game would go into overtime.
An Auburn player did not make that assumption. He caught the ball as it missed the uprights, and he ran it out of the end zone 107 yards all the way down to the other end to score a game-winning touchdown. Auburn not only won, they prevented their rival from being #1 and winning another national championship.

The play has been shown on all of the newscasts because of the timing, championship implications, and run length. The most astounding aspect to me, however, is that the Auburn player was positioned in the end zone ready to catch the ball. We’ve all seen last-minute kicks with empty end zones. I don’t recall seeing any with opponents positioned to catch the ball if it misses.

Winners position themselves for greatness. They don’t show up on game day expecting to win. They prepare for months, years even, to be ready to win. The Auburn player was physically capable to catch the ball and out-run others, he was mentally ready, and he was in the right position. He was ready so when the opportunity came, he took it. He took it 107 yards.
If he had not physically and mentally prepared himself, his location on the field would not have mattered. He was positioned for success deliberately by himself and his coaches.

So what? How is that touchdown relevant to us?
In your job, you're not running touchdowns to win; however, we all need to position ourselves for victory just like that football player did. We have to be physically competent in that we have to hone the right skills that matter to clients today. We have to be mentally prepared to face challenges and adapt. We also have to be positioned to win. We have to anticipate client needs, market shifts, and changing demands of our industry.

It’s not that different from the football player.
Are you ready? Are you preparing for the opportunity, so that when it arrives, you are positioned for greatness? We have to position ourselves and our companies for greatness deliberately because we expect to have opportunities. We expect to win.

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