I like tracking the progress of professional and college sports teams, noting their ups and downs, developing certain predictions for their future performance. How they behave, under pressure, is emblematic of our own performances in business and in nearly every walk of life.Unlike most businesses, however, baseball, for example, is largely visible to its customers. Quite quickly, we're told who might be traded or acquired, which minor leaguers are in line for promotion, and whose contract options might be bought out.
Plus, we get to form our own opinions by watching people at work, hitting, fielding, running, managing and coaching.Will last year's World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, snapping about eight decades of failure, come back to repeat its success this year?.As a fan of the team, I've wondered about this, especially as I've observed the Sox celebrating their 2005 accomplishments. And my assessment of their 2006 performance, at this point, nearly half way into the season, is that they're going to have to struggle mightily to prevail again.
How come? Somewhere, in the collective unconscious of the team and its management has been planted the idea that success is permanent, that once you reach the brass ring, your achievement will always be great.I believe the Sox over-celebrated and started to believe their own publicity, indicating that they were building a team that would withstand the test of time. They forgot that in 2005 they won one game at a time, many of them by a single run, and they never took anything for granted, until that threatening reversal in fortune they sustained toward the end of the season, when the Indians surged.
This year, they started out thinking they were in first place, that they had a head start because they wore last year's rings. Not so. Kansas City's early season victories should have shocked the Sox into their senses, but they didn't.
The incredibly strong and sustained start by the Detroit Tigers should have been an even more jarring kick in the butt, but the Sox still seem groggy from October's champagne.Still, despite their sober sounding pronouncements about their competitive challenges, the Sox haven't started to play as if every pitch counts. They're still giving away innings and ballgames to lesser opponents.Now, I sense there is a voice inside that is assuring them: "Don't worry; at this rate you'll still be in the post-season as the Wild Card team. After all, you have the second best record in the American League, after Detroit.".
Not good enough.Let me repeat that phrase: They're not good enough?yet.This is what they need to start telling themselves, instead of resting on their laurels, expecting that no matter what, their success will be permanent.
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.
com & The Goodman Organization is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations.
He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.For information about coaching, consulting, training, books, videos and audios, please go to http://www.
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By: Dr. Gary S. Goodman