I particularly have a passion for team sports; but I’ll watch almost anything, including tennis on the odd occasion.
As I write these ramblings I have just enjoyed the AFL and NFL Grand Finals, the Bathurst 1,000 at Mt Panorama, the preliminary rounds of the Rugby World Cup, the beginnings of the Major League Baseball playoffs and golf’s President’s Cup.
As you read this article you’re probably thinking, “What has all that stuff got to do with my business today?”
Hopefully, as you read on, all will become clear. I’d like to reference a quotation that I’ve used in most aspects of my life for more than two decades. It comes from a book I read in 1990 titled The Wisdom of Winning by Mike Murdock: “Stop looking at where you’ve been and start looking at where you can be.”
I summarise this quotation with three ideals – preparation, attitude and fortitude.
So, do you get an idea as to how to put these into a business practice?
I’ll take you back to those sporting events.
After the team’s qualifying final defeat by the West Coast Eagles, Hawthorn was considered an outsider to win the premiership three weeks later. The club quietly went about its business by preparing solidly, ensuring attitudes were totally focused and that the team had the fortitude to carry out plans without deviation.
Wayne Bennett, coach of the Brisbane Broncos, had won seven premierships in the NRL from seven tries. He was going for his eighth and his team was just pipped by a try on the bell levelling the scores and then having a “˜golden point’ scored by Wil Thurston, the best player in Rugby League playing for the North Queensland Cowboys. Bennett was not happy that his Broncos lost by such a narrow margin but has committed to return next year with a stronger team.
Craig Lowndes won the Bathurst 1,000, one of the most gruelling motor races in the world, for the sixth time after being written off as being too old. Renowned as one of the best prepared drivers in supercar racing he is able to perform at the top level more than 20 years after commencing in the sport.
What about the Australians at the Rugby World Cup? They got through the “˜Group of Death’ qualifying rounds undefeated after two sensational games against England and Wales. By now you’ll know who won the competition but to get as far as the Aussies did required preparation, attitude and fortitude.
I’m out of space to write about golf’s President’s Cup and the Chicago Cubs except to say the internationals haven’t won the event for six attempts now and were defeated by the narrowest possible margin of one point and the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series for 107 years. The “˜Cubbies’ are through two stages of the playoffs. Let’s see where they get to.
All of us, whether we are business owners, managers or employees, can take heed of the sporting illustrations mentioned. We have our ups and downs in business and, occasionally, get very despondent. With the right preparation, a fantastic attitude and committed fortitude we can see our way through the toughest of situations.
Review your business (or your role in the business you work for). Ask yourself, “How can I get better at what I do?”, “How can our company improve our offering to our customers?” and “What is that extra ingredient that will make us a better business?”
This is not a self-help collection of words, it’s about asking you to have another look at your role in our industry and trying to find ways to take yourself to a higher level in your personal and professional endeavours.
What’s it going to take? Yep, you guessed it; preparation, attitude and fortitude.