Last night, I watched the second half of Game 1 in the Cleveland – Orlando NBA Eastern Conference finals. At the end of the first half, a Cleveland player drained a 70-foot shot at the buzzer propelling the Cavaliers to a 15-point halftime lead at home. They lost one time in that building all year, and hadn’t lost in the playoffs yet. In fact, all their wins in the post-season were by double digits. This game was over.
But, the Orlando Magic didn’t get the memo. By the end of the 3rd quarter, they cut the lead down to 4 points. Halfway through the 4th, they took their first lead. At the ensuing timeout, you could hear Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy say, “They’ve won easy all year. They’ve never faced adversity. We have. We know how to win this game!”
In the end, after a back and forth battle where All-Planet player LeBron James scored 49 points, the Magic won on a 3-point shot by Rashard Lewis. An improbable victory.
How do you respond to adversity?
The Magic showed how having fought through tough times in the past (like being down 3-2 to the defending world champs just last week) can lead to a mental toughness that leads to improbable wins. The same is true in business.
These are tough times for many. Those who battle through, persevere, and survive will be better for it because they will be mentally tougher. This too will pass, but it also may come again. If you’ve seen it, played through it, and won, you have the confidence and the toughness to do it again.
Business is a competitive sport. The “athletes” in this arena that are willing to be tough, get up when knocked down, and battle to the end will be the winners both now and in the future.
Are you able to handle adversity? Now is the time to start. Game on!
(c) 2009 Dan Weedin – All Rights Reserved