Most of you know by now here at AK we like to work hard but, we also like to have fun too. Part of that fun is having employees, family and friends fill out NCAA brackets for the Men’s Basketball tournament while competing against each other to see who can predict the most accurate bracket.
Almost every year there are teams that advance further than anyone ever predicts, these are called the tournament Cinderella Stories. Wikipedia.org refers to a Cinderella Story as a team or player who advances much further in a tournament than originally anticipated. It is easy to say that this year’s Cinderella Story is the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. The Eagles entered the tournament as a heavy underdog with the Number 15th seed, matched up against the Number 2 seeded Georgetown Hoyas who was ranked 8th nationally. Nobody gave the Eagles a shot at beating the Hoyas who were a top 10 team to win the entire 68 team tournament, yet when the final buzzer sounded the arena was in an uproar as the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles upset the Number 2 seeded Hoyas. ESPN mentions that the victory was only the 7th time in tournament history that a 15-seed beat a 2-seed.
Two nights later the Eagles were again the underdog matched up against San Diego State who they again defeated in flashy fashion. This was the first time in tournament history that a 15th seed had won two games in the NCAA basketball tournament. What a great story. We hope the greatness continues as the Eagles face the highly ranked Florida Gators this coming Friday Night.
So after all that excitement the question that came to mind “How can we use this great story to encourage us in our day-to-day professional lives and become more successful?” There are several things we can learn from this story.
The first is to “believe in yourself and your team”. The Eagles came into this tournament with the goal to make history. As point guard Brett Comer explained at Espn.com “We decided we can play with anybody and we did”. We as employees and employers need to use that thought process in our day-to-day operations and bring that attitude into our warehouses. Believing in yourself and your team is the first key to making some magic happen.
Next, we can learn from the “Stay Loose” motto they used during the games. Coach Andy Enfield shouted “Stay Loose … Stay Loose” during the game on Friday and in their locker room encouraging his players to not get rattled and to stay loose. By staying loose and allowing your team members and players to be themselves, they can really impact your business. The key to maximizing someone’s potential is to give them the confidence they need to be themselves and allow them to stay loose to maximize their potential.
The final point that you can take away from this amazing story is the coach Andy Enfield and his view on the fun. Earlier in this article and in previous posts, you may have noticed that AK really likes to have fun and create an atmosphere where their employees can have some fun too. Company-sponsored runs, catered lunches, and goofy videos all increase the fun and comradery around the office. FGC Eagle coach Andy Enfield describes his team as follows “We try to have fun, get serious when we have to.” Used in the right context that statement has a lot of truth and power to it. If your team members and co-workers know when to be serious but, also can have fun together it can have a very positive impact on your business.
So in summary, March Madness is a great time of year for many sports and a lot of great stories come from these tournaments so whatever industry your in try and use these stories to positively impact your lives and others around you.