Since I’m an unabashed sports fan, I’ve decided to bore you today with some sports talk :-). Let me just start by saying that I’m not a huge Golden State Warriors fan; my loyalties lie with the perennially disappointing Utah Jazz. With that being said, what the Warriors have accomplished this past week is truly remarkable.
The defending champs were down 3-1 in their recent series with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Only nine out of the previous 120+ teams in this situation, in the history of the NBA, had ever come back to win their series. But behind the stellar play of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson the Warriors were able to win three straight (including an improbably game 6 win on the road) to clinch the series 4-3 and earn a spot in the NBA finals.
There are two lessons that stand out to me from this basketball series. First, Klay Thompson set an NBA record for most three pointers made in a single playoff game (11), and he did so when the stakes were at their highest. He didn’t accomplish this feat in a blowout win while up 3-0 in a series; he did this facing elimination, on the road, when his team needed him most. Just like in sports, it’s important for us as employees, managers, bosses, etc. to be able to perform well under pressure. It’s one thing to be able to close the deal on small/inconsequential sale, but it’s another to be close on a game changing deal.
The other lesson that stood out to me is that when facing severe adversity, not all hope is lost! One of the things that separates successful people/teams is the ability to have faith, confidence, and determination to be able to accomplish the improbable. When everyone else may be counting you out, as was the case with the Warriors, your ability to put your head down and dig a little deeper, and not “throw in the towel,” will give you your greatest chance of success. And even if you come up a little short, you can have peace of mind knowing that you gave the effort to become the best of which you are capable.
My challenge to you is to not give up, no matter the challenges or adversity you may be facing. Confidence and faith to be able to overcome are both key parts to the pyramid of success. Do not become discouraged by the obstacles you may be facing, but rather stay the course and double down on your efforts. Doing so will provide an outcome that you can both live with and be proud of.