In a year like none of us expected, organisations move into the final quarter of the calendar year with an important decision to make - Accept what they have, or push for the win.
It got me thinking about my main out of work passion, football (soccer for you Americans) and specifically Liverpool FC. Now don’t worry, this isn't going to be a few paragraphs raving about LFC and our recent success, its more an observation of successful sports teams including our biggest rivals Manchester United!
When I look back at my 20+ years of football following, one thing that the best and most consistent teams always demonstrate, is unbelievable character and reaction to adversity. So often these teams score the last minute winning goal, or win a game even when dealing with an injury crisis - but how the achieve this is so often down to mindset, the mindset of champions.
So many organisations find themselves in that exact position now, we are entering the final minutes of the match having faced so much adversity. But now we have a choice to make, do we dust ourselves down and go again or do we let the clock run down. The organisations that move into 2021 strongest will undoubtedly be the ones that brush themselves down and go again, pushing for that winning goal, play offence.
When I think of those teams, these are the common traits that I notice;
Commitment to the cause - Every member of that team is committed to making it happen, no matter how tired or how far the need to run - they're all in!
Belief - Every single member of the team believes that it will happen. It’s not if, it’s when.
Trust - They trust their training and the strategy. No second guessing, just execution.
Talent - They are graced with high performers and high potential talent. These individuals have the capability to achieve greatness in difficult times.
All of these elements go into the making of a successful and ultimately great team in sport, but I see on a daily basis the crossover into the commercial world. But achieving success over the next few months, and scoring that last minute winning goal will not be possible without the leader first displaying the mindset, and believing it's possible. As Henry Ford said "Whether you believe you can, or you believe you cant. You're probably right!"
During a year that has been loaded with fear, insecurity and scarcity-based thinking, champion leaders have a choice to make: Play hungry or play scared.