It’s fall and football season. While I’ve loved professional football as a child (the Miami Dolphins have a cool mascot!), I never watched much college football. Until now. My sons attend Baylor and I can’t help but get excited about the team they love: the Baylor Bears. It helps they have a winning streak, too! But the game this weekend almost changed that.
As I listened to the Baylor-TCU on the radio, Baylor was down by 2 touchdowns in the 3rd quarter. No problem. It was only 2 touchdowns. Heading into to 4th quarter, however, TCU was 6 yards from the goal. Soon they were 3 touchdowns ahead, a seemingly impossible deficit to overcome! So I turned off the radio to finish fixing dinner and enjoy the rest of my evening.
The next morning, when I checked the score, I was shocked! So shocked that I had to read the postgame articles to find out what had happened. Baylor overcame the 21 point deficit and won the game with a 3 point field goal as the clock ran out! How did they do it? What kinds of lessons can we glean from the Baylor comeback to help us in work and life?
Believe. QB Bryce Petty believed his team could win. “I told our guys we weren’t going to lose that game. I don’t know why I felt that, I just knew, looking in the guys’ faces, we were going to come back in that game,” said Petty. He believed and inspired his team despite an interception by the opposing that was returned for a 49 yard touchdown. At that point, Baylor could have accepted defeat. But belief kept them moving, inspiring 24 unanswered points.
Business lesson: Sometime we can feel like we are hopelessly behind. Maybe we didn’t meet our goals. Perhaps we made some costly mistakes. Strong belief in our ability to overcome our challenges fuels our resolve to take the next step. Without it, we tend to retreat and give up. And All we need to do is take the next step!
Don’t Get Rattled. Instead of letting an interception rattle them, the Bears shook off the setback and used it to fuel the drive to win. What if the team viewed that as a sign that they would fail? What if they beat themselves up for turning over the ball? We all know the answer to that! I wouldn’t be writing this article if they had. But they didn’t let the mistakes of the first 3 quarters shake them. Even though they never got the lead until the final seconds of the game, they didn’t let that stop them from working on the next play and the next play and the next play.
Business lesson: As business professionals or serious entrepreneurs, we often find ourselves thwarted in our attempts to close a sale or even just to pay our bills. A prospective customer suddenly changes his mind and buys from a competitor. A promised contract falls through. Even worse, an expected medical emergency brings crushing bills. What is your challenge? Are you tempted to hide? Is fear of failure holding you back? Are you afraid that you will continue to make the same mistakes? The Baylor Bears teach us to shake it off and make the next play. Master your emotions! Are you afraid? Act now! Call the next customer. Remember, failure isn’t final. Don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes. Learn from the challenge, put it behind you and do the next thing.
Focus: The team was behind the entire game and did not get ahead until Chris Callahan kicked the 3 point field goal that won the game for Baylor. Chris is an unlikely hero. The five field goal attempts he made before were unsuccessful. And now, the whole team, the whole stadium was watching the freshman complete an amazing quarter. What encouragement did Petty giveCallahan? Focus only on himself and the job. I’m sure the 5 previous failed attempts tried to cloud his thinking. Nevertheless, Chris focused on what he knew he needed to do to get that filed goal. And the ball saliedk between the goal posts as the clock ran out.
Business lesson: Pretty simple. We just talked about not getting rattled, not letting our failures determine our next move. And to do that we need to focus. Focus on the next action. Focus on the next customer. Focus on the person in front of you. Focus on the task at hand. Even if there is pressure, just focus on our ability and the job at hand. Ultimately, if we see ourselves succeeding and we don’t give up, we will create the success we are looking for.
It isn’t just one play that creates success. It’s doing all the right things we do when we are winning that keeps us from losing.
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And by the way, great job, team!!