Nearly every year, one or two Cinderella teams emerge victorious from the first weekend of the NCAA Basketball tournament. It is always somewhat surprising when an unknown and unranked school beats a highly favored team. Coming from smaller conferences and less prestigious basketball programs, these schools typically don’t have a future NBA star on their roster. Moreover, the underdog’s head coach is often younger and less experienced and their training facilities are modest. Yet, they surge ahead in the tournament.
How do they do it?
Each Cinderella team has its own story, but from my perspective, they share some common characteristics. First, they are comfortable in their own skin. They don’t try to imitate perennial powerhouses like Duke, Kansas, Michigan State or Kentucky. Rather, they play to their team strengths, whether it be perimeter shooting, scrappy defense, or an upbeat tempo.
Second, they work together as a team. Lacking the big starter, they understand their only path to victory is to work together, seeking to maximize each of their players’ individual talents. They communicate effectively with each other, and they trust each player to fulfill his role on the court.
Success in life often mirrors success on the basketball court. Are you comfortable in your own skin? How often and how well are you using your Signature Talents™ to succeed, both at work and at home? How can you communicate more effectively with your colleagues at work, and your partner at home?