If you’ve read this blog or followed me on twitter for any length of time, you know my thoughts on finishing the week and the month strong. Too many times, I see salespeople coasting through Friday or the end of the month—or worse an end-of-month Friday!
In speaking and training, I’ve tried to hammer home the point that games are won in the fourth quarter or ninth inning and that in sales today if you will just work Friday you’re going to automatically be ahead of probably 50% of your competition who are just “phoning it in”.
If one ever needed an illustration of this point, look no farther than Monday night’s NHL Stanley Cup final.
I’m not the biggest hockey fan in the world. I like the game, but in all honesty that was the first Stanley Cup game I’d seen this year…and wow, what a game.
For those of you who don’t know, the Chicago Blackhawks started the season on an almost unbelievable streak of 24 straight games without a loss; just an amazing accomplishment. They were faced off with the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals and were ahead 3 games to 2 (The first to win four games is the champion). The game was tied at 1 with about eight minutes to go in regulation. For those watching, it certainly looked like another overtime hockey game was coming.
Then Boston’s Milan Lucic sent the home crowd into a frenzy with a shot to take the lead with just over seven and a half minutes remaining. Now it seemed as if the two teams would head back to Chicago for the deciding game 7.
The clock ticked. With each passing second Boston got closer to tying the series while Chicago got closer to be pushed to the brink after that record-setting start to the season.
Then it happened.
With 1:16 left in the game, Brian Bickell scored for Chicago to tie the game. His teammates went nuts. My nephew (at whose house I was watching the game) went nuts. Chicago had somehow retied the game out of nowhere.
Then it happened…again.
Just 17 seconds later, Chicago scored again as Dave Bolland put the puck in the net with just :59 seconds left in the game.
In 17 seconds, Chicago went from loser to Stanley Cup Champion. And it was amazing to watch.
I know this is not a sports blog, but what I want you to take from this is that at no time did they ever just “coast” and say, “well, we’ll just get ‘em next time”. At no time did they let up. Now, I’m certainly not implying that Boston did let up—both teams played amazing in the closing minutes. But one quote stuck out to me in the post game stories.
“I still can’t believe that finish,” said Blackhawks’ goalie Corey Crawford. “Oh my God, we never quit. I never lost confidence. No one in our (locker) room ever did.”
They never quit. And they never lost confidence.
Can you say the same? Because in this instance, playing hard until the finish and maintaining confidence earned this team the Stanley Cup. They weren’t that much better than Boston. In fact, one could argue that Boston was better.
But, Chicago wouldn’t quit. Even when it looked like they were done. Even when they were less than a minute-and-a-half from defeat—they still BELIEVED they could win.
That equates to your late Friday afternoon or your final push at the end of the month. Do you still believe? Are you still working just as hard?
It is truly what defines a Champion.
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