Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Super Bowl: Keep Fighting

Sports provides a very accurate portrayal of the effort necessary for success. Case in point was the Super Bowl.  FREE - Smart Managers eBook

Six weeks ago the New York Giants were teetering on the edge of destruction. They were fighting just to get in the NFL playoffs. They needed to win almost every game at the end of the regular season just to continue playing.

Fans in New York were openly calling for the head coach, Tom Coughlin, to be fired. He had 'lost his team,' the critics said. He was no longer effective, he was too old and his methods too archaic. There were even rumblings that some New York Giants players were beginning to jump ship and quit on their coach. They felt that his strategies were too boring and that he was too cantankerous. He fined players for being late to meetings, openly berated millionaire athletes in front of the team and appeared generally unhappy.

The players were quitting. The season was slipping away. All seemed lost. But then the tide suddenly turned. There is no 'moment' when things got better. They just sort of did. It happened slowly, almost imperceptibly, but it happened.

The Giants started winning. Their quarterback, Eli Manning, who occasionally shows flashes of brilliance, began playing more consistently. The players were showing emotion and attitude. They were playing like they had something to prove. They were playing like they had a chip on their shoulders. And it paid off.

The Giants rolled into the playoffs after a mediocre 9 - 7 NFL season. They smashed their first opponent. Smashed the league's best team, the Green Bay Packers, in their second game. And then beat a very good 49ers team to get to the Super Bowl. Then in the midst of the most watched TV program in American history, the Giants beat the New England Patriots.

Why did they win? According to their quarterback Eli Manning, the answer is simple: " We never quit. We never stopped fighting."

These are, no doubt, valuable lessons to lean in our lives and in our businesses.

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