This Week’s Focus Point: Tight Shoelaces
I love March Madness and the start of this year’s tournament has already been filled with huge upsets and thrilling games. Unfortunately for me, this year was the time I decided to boldly go with just one bracket. Even though I’m competing in several pools, I eschewed hedging my bet and went with one single outcome. That outcome for me fell to pieces on just the second day when my “winner” – Michigan State – went down in flames to 15th seeded Middle Tennessee State. Michigan State was tied with Kansas as the odds on favorite by Las Vegas experts. In the opening round, they showed how you can go from favorite to last in the blink of an eye. The cause of this calamity for the Spartans? Tight shoelaces.
I’ve been a huge fan of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo since I first saw him speak about a dozen years ago. He is a master coach that really prepares his athletes well. However on watching the second half of this game, I noted something very uncharacteristic of a Coach Izzo team. As the Middle Tennessee squad refused to succumb to the higher ranked team by hitting big shots and making the better plays, the Spartans got a case of “tight shoelaces.” This is a basketball axiom that is synonymous with panicking (you may be able to draw other visuals from this metaphor). Middle Tennessee had nothing to lose, so they played fearlessly. Michigan State played with panic. It was evident that they were thinking about the ignominy of being only the 8th #2 seed in the history of the tournament to lose to a #15 seed. This was a talent-filled, veteran group with high hopes and they were self-destructing under the weight of the pressure.
How do you handle pressure? Do you play fearlessly and aggressively as if you have nothing to lose OR do your shoelaces get tight? Panic has nothing to do with courage or skill. Panic is 100% about confidence, or lack of it. When consequences to “losing” align with a drop in confidence, panic sets in. Just like in March Madness, panic is deadly for you as a business professional. What you need to do to avoid it is always keep your perspective, proportion, and absolute belief in your ability and smarts. That way, you’re always in a position to win your game day after day and stay away from those tightening shoelaces.
Quote of the Week:
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
~ Oscar Wilde
If you’d like to hear more about this concept, listen to my live Periscope broadcast today at 10 am PST. Information below…
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
This past weekend’s Michigan State vs. Michigan game had one of the wildest conclusions in recent years in college football. With Michigan winning and simply needing to execute a punt with 10 seconds left to win the game. the punter dropped the snap and instead of falling on it, tried to pick it up. The ball landed in the waiting arms of a Michigan State player who raced into the end zone as time expired for the unlikely Michigan State win.
In the aftermath, fans around the country sitting on their couches (and commenting on Twitter) exclaimed, “All he has to do is fall on the ball and the game is over!” Easy for us to say. My guess is the majority of the “experts” (including those in the media) have never punted a ball in a college football game, nor been in a situation like the Michigan punter trying to make a play in a split second. In all transparency, I voiced my displeasure on a dropped pass by a Washington Husky player in the end zone later that evening in our game. My last live action football came in junior high.
Just like athletes in all sports are susceptible to “coaching advice” from journalists and fans on social media and sports talk radio, business professionals are just as vulnerable to getting “suggestions” from others on how to be better at what they do. I often think of highly trained and educated nurses in hospitals that are constantly barraged by their “customers” on how to do their job!
Getting coaching advice, mentoring, and sometimes well-intentioned tips from those that are not experts in your field is not in your best interest. Listen to those you choose to help you; those who have been where you want to be; those that have experience and knowledge you want. We fans are quick to say what should have happened after the fact, but rarely have the perspicacity or skill to have done it ourselves. Don’t allow those that want to provide unsolicited advise to derail your business and career. Be careful of whom you listen to.
© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
Next Weedin Unleashed today at 12:00 pm Pacific. Free broadcast. Link to join