Leaders Turn Underdogs Into Winners

Here in the United States, it’s March madness. That’s right. It’s the college basketball tournament where the 65 best teams in the country come together to duke it out and figure out who’s going to be number one. Who’s going to wear the crown? Who’s going to be the top basketball team in the country? Well, guess what. After the first round, there are already an amazingly high number of upsets. It makes me stop and think. What leads to an upset? Why does the underdog win? Why does someone other than the expected come out on top?

I think there are three great reasons. The first reason: expectations. I think sometimes players have expectations that they’re going to win and they take the opponent too lightly. They don’t plan properly. They don’t do what is necessary. It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into. On the other side of the coin, the expectations are hey, we’re going to have a tough battle but we’re going to find a way to win. And so they set their expectations at a level that drive their actions.

This leads us to number two:  work ethic. I think one of the reasons the underdog wins is work ethic. Their expectations drive their work ethic in their practice to where they outwork and out-hustle. They just want a little bit more. It’s hard to win day in and day out. But when it comes down to one game, when it’s single elimination, and it’s all on the line, why wouldn’t you work your hardest? Why wouldn’t you try with all your might to get that ball before it goes out of bounds?

The third reason the underdog wins:  good coaching. A good leader is there to help the team grow and achieve and accomplish goals that maybe, before that point, were not possible. But now, moving forward, are possible. Great leaders inspire those around them. Great leaders help bring everyone together. Great leaders know how to tap into the skills of each individual to build a team where all the skills together help you achieve what it is that you’re trying to achieve.

Ultimately, it comes down to building great leaders within the organization and empowering everyone to go out and perform at their best. Then the underdog becomes the winner. And guess what? Next time, they’re not the underdog.

It’s the same in business. Every move you make could lead to a growth and a success moment or it could lead to your demise. Why not make that supreme effort and make sure you come out on top?


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