Since we moved to Houston in 1998, the only local sports highlights were when the Astros played in the National League Championship Series twice and made it to the World Series once. Rockets? One playoff series win in 13 seasons. Texans? Still mired in mediocrity after nine years. Meanwhile, in the past eight months, my hometown – DFW – has seen the Rangers play in the World Series and crowned the Mavericks as NBA Champions. That’s great for my family and friends there… and I’m enjoying it from afar.
Listening to and reading commentary of media experts this morning about what happened to the South Beach dream team – for instance, Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio said, “I honestly thought Miami was better last night with LeBron James on the bench” – it’s clear Dirk Nowitzki and the deepest roster in the league outplayed the Heat’s three highly paid All Stars.
Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron joined together last summer with the goal to win multiple championships. Number one will have to wait another year. As Michael Rosenberg wrote on SI.com: “The self-proclaimed King wanted it to be easy. His company’s logo should be a cart in front of a horse.” LeBron disappeared in the fourth quarter of every game. He’ll have the next four months to develop his post play and figure out how to do more when the basketball is in someone else’s hands
The Heat proved it’s hard to buy your way to success. Its travails serve as a lesson to business leaders that you need everyone on your team working together to become a champion. It took Dirk 13 years to lift that trophy. Time will tell whether the Big Three ever stand on the podium with smiles on their faces… or if this great experiment turns out to be the Big Mistake.
Note: Tomorrow at 1 p.m. EDT, I’ll appear on Insights Live, an Internet radio show, to share how to get everyone on your team pulling in the same direction. Here’s a link if you’d like to join us: http://bit.ly/keUIj4
What’s the third most important lesson I learned during 2010?
Big Oops II – During a leadership meeting I facilitated, someone asked how to overcome those times when what you say comes out wrong. I eloquently explained: “If you speak in public, you’ll slip on occasion. Apologize and move on.” Two hours later, another person asked how to confront a team member who gets upset easily. My response: “Begin by acknowledging the conversation could become emotional.” I immediately felt the energy drain from the room, which consisted of 28 women and four men. For the next half hour the discussion was ‘words a guy should never say to a woman.’ Of course, I apologized… several times. My face may have turned red, too.
Continuing the countdown of the Top 10 things I learned during 2010. Here’s #9:
Big Oops – You’d think a former marketing guy like me would know better. You’d be wrong. Last year was the best ever for Success Handler, LLC, so I made the classic mistake of convincing myself we were too busy during 2009 to focus on attracting new clients. How’d that work out? Well, let’s just say I had plenty of time on my hands this summer. Note to self… it’s harder to gain momentum from a standing start.
Another of the Top 10 things I learned this year:
Target 2027 – Up and down. Up and down. The rollercoaster ride of the stock market the past decade is enough to make you woozy. With my Big 5-0 arriving in 179 days, we recently entrusted our retirement savings to a money management firm. Aligning with professionals who take a ‘preserve capital first’ approach and understand the intricacies of blending the stock market with fixed investments to create a diversified portfolio seems like a better approach than dollar-cost averaging and being ‘all in’ all the time.
One more of the Top 10 things I learned in 2009:
A Big Bow Wow – We put down our 16-year-old Golden Retriever in July. Those who have experienced that passage know it’s tough. As we worked through detachment the next several days, our vet surprised us in two ways. First, a nice sympathy card arrived, signed by her entire staff. Then, she gave us a hand-painted casting of Genevieve’s paw print. Those wonderful gestures touched our family. Regardless of the business you’re in, look for opportunities to connect with your customers’ hearts. They’ll remember.