What March Madness Teaches Us About Running A Business

There’s less than 2 weeks left of March Madness until the NCAA basketball champion is crowned on April 4th. I’m sure you know a lot of people who have been and are anxious about their brackets, alma maters and team loyalties. As you cheer for your teams this season, remind yourself of these important lessons learned from the games.

1. Take chances and jump for the rebounds.
It’s frustrating to watch missed opportunities during a game, especially when the ball is up in the air and open for anyone’s rebound. I’ve talked about taking advantage of opportunities before, but are you taking the chance to reach for them?

2. Watch out for the underdogs and unexpected.
I’m talking about the surprise steals during the game and the teams that unexpectedly come out on top. Keep your eyes open for pitfalls in your business and be prepared.

3. Keep your overconfidence in check.
It hurts a team greatly to go into a game cocky, especially when they can be eliminated with one loss. This also goes for players getting cocky at the free-throw line. You haven’t won until the last buzzer sounds, so it isn’t smart to play like you already have the game in the bag. All the other team needs is a couple of good shots in a row and they’ve pulled out ahead of you.

4. Teamwork is crucial.
There may be stand-out players on a team, but even the all-stars need their teammates for assists, blocks and encouragement. In the end, the team will be crowned the champion, not a specific player, although he/she may be recognized. Are you giving the support your team needs to succeed? Is your team working together to succeed?

5. Learn from losses.
For some, there will be disappointing upsets. It takes a long season to get the team to where they are, but it’s not time to give up. After taking a breather (to mourn), review what went right and wrong and prepare for your next season.

6. Live your passion.
To some people, March Madness is more exciting than the NBA finals because college athletes have a different kind of passion for the game. The one game elimination set-up makes each game intense, but it’s also the players’ futures on the lines. They’re not yet banking on their skills, so they have the humbleness to play out their passion for the love of the game and the eyes of NBA scouts. Is your work driven by your passion?

What other parallels do you see from March Madness? Also, how are your brackets holding up?

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