I recently went to watch my sons’ softball team play (a doubleheader). It’s a rec league and they have a decent team with a few guys, like my sons, who played baseball through high school, a guy who made it to AAA, and a couple other athlete types.
They were playing a team of guys who were obviously not athletes. While I congratulate them for getting out there and they were having a lot of fun, they just weren’t very good. Everybody on my sons’ team noticed this, didn’t take it too seriously, and therefore the first game was close. Well really not too close, they led by 6-7 runs most of the game but didn’t 10-run them until the sixth inning (if up by 10 runs or more once it’s a legal game the game is over, to prevent a major slaughter).
I commented to a couple players the game was lifeless, to which they agreed. They talked in the dugout between games, came out pounding the ball with six straight hits, and had five runs in the first inning. The second game wasn’t close.
Ever feel like this team felt? This will be easy. This is a no-brainer. No way will this not work. Oops, you can’t play to the level of your competition, you have to play your A game all the time, and for the whole game. In 2014 the Kansas City Royals came within an inning of being eliminated in their first playoff game, came back, won it, and made it to game seven of the World Series. Every year there are major upsets in college football (a major team loses to a team in a lower division).
I could give all kinds of examples but you’re smart enough to make the comparisons to your business. Just don’t underestimate any situation.
“Most of American life is driving somewhere and then driving back wondering why the hell you went.” John Updike