“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall” – Vince Lombardi.
I don’t watch football for leadership metaphors, but this is just too good to not mention.
Sunday’s NFC Championship game was a series of highs and lows for both the Packers and the Seahawks. It was clear that after trailing for almost three quarters the Seahawks were headed back to the locker room, not to a berth in the Superbowl.
UNTIL the fake field goal 4 min 44 seconds into the third quarter when Seahawks kicker Garry Gilliam passed to offensive tackle Jon Ryan a 19-yard pass for their first score in the game. And that still left the Seahawks BEHIND by 13 points.
It didn’t look good. Many Seahawks fans left early so they wouldn’t get caught in traffic. When they heard the roar of the crowd in the fourth quarter 10:53 minutes in, they tried to get back into the stadium. No-rentry. So they stood outside the doors and looked in. Wow. Not the way you want to watch your team, whether they win or lose. And then of course they won. In overtime. Imagine watching one of the greatest wins of all time from outside the stands. Does that translate to your behavior as a leader?
Do you leave the game early when faced with impossible odds? Do you become so discouraged that you give up before the game is over? Have you ever experienced a loss when you could have had a win but didn’t because you walked away too soon and then couldn’t re-enter the ‘game’?
Many leaders have done that once. Left the game. But great leaders never do it twice.
Our responsibility is as follows:
- Know you’re playing to win, regardless of how many good or bad plays you have in the game.
- Trust your team to do their best and find their own motivation to not give up or give in to fear or doubt.
- Keep your wits about you and don’t be driven by emotion.
- NEVER walk away from the game and wait until the end and the score is called.
- Expect weird things to happen along the way and adjust as necessary.
- Enjoy leading and your team will believe victory is possible.
- If you’re knocked on your keister get back up.
- Support your team whether they win or fail and they’ll keep playing for themselves and for you.
- Whether you win or lose do it with grace and dignity.
- Know there’s another game to be played and you’ll be even more prepared next time.
Boy was that a good game!! I hope you’re excited about the game and team you lead. See you at the Super Bowl!