Let the Madness begin! We are referring to March Madness, the annual NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship that captivates the nation and slows office productivity from coast to coast. March Madness has become an event much like the Super Bowl because it pulls in viewers and participants who are not college basketball fans per se, or even at all. Several factors contribute to its widespread popularity. For example, the numerous drama-filled, buzzer beating shots that happen on a seemingly daily basis; the Cinderella stories that develop and make our hearts bleed for the underdogs; and the good ‘ole office bracket pool that gives us all a chance to win some money!
NCAA basketball is big business and this tournament is the crown jewel of their business plan. Everything they do leads to or supports the tournament, ensuring that they improve their brand and generate revenue through advertising and television contracts. When I think about the event, its character and the business side of it, there are few similarities in terms of how they’ve built their model. A team just needs to get “hot” at the right time to win the tournament. It’s not necessarily the best team that ends up being the champion. In business, we don’t operate that way – we have to be good all the time. There is, however, a big similarity in the areas of preparation, belief, trust and teamwork. Let’s take them one at a time.
Many games on the court are won before the ball is even thrown up in the air. They are won in practice sessions and meetings leading up to the game. Whichever team focused more, learned about their opponent better and what they needed to do to win, usually ends up the winner.
To win a game, you have to believe in the game plan. Team sports require that each player believes in the game plan. The competition is too great to overcome if they are not fully invested in the approach being taken to achieve victory.
The success of the team hinges on trusting that their teammates will be there when called upon to do their job. If the players are worried about what everyone else is doing, they can’t be focused on their own responsibilities in order to get them done to the best of their abilities.
Each individual player must singularly do their part for the good of the whole. For example, a player might get the chance to take a shot, but he or she doesn’t because they could pass the ball to a teammate for a better shot. Passing up on an individual opportunity for the betterment of the team is essential.
All four of these qualities are essential for our success here at Grey Elephant. We prepare for each day. Whether it’s in the office or attending a trade show, we always have a plan for how to make it a successful day. Our plan
s are ambitious, yet attainable. It’s with an eye toward the long term. We do not sacrifice long term growth for short term gains. Everything is done within the framework of what is best for our clients and law firms over the long run.
Belief, trust and teamwork are present in everything we do. There is belief in ourselves and trust among co-workers here in the office, but it also extends out to you – our partners and clients. We believe and trust that when there is a problem and we have to make that phone call, there will be accountability and open communication by everyone involved. We are not a standalone business. We depend on our teammates to succeed.
We can all be inspired by the athletes participating in March Madness as we witness their fight to achieve greatness in their field.