Want To Learn How to "Win" Big? Do What Team Oracle Did!
Want To Learn How to "Win Big?" Do What Team Oracle Did!

Want To Learn How to "Win" Big? Do What Team Oracle Did!
The dramatic come-from-behind win by the Oracle Team in the America's Cup race captured the news over the last week. Even if you don't know a thing about boating or sailing, you have to admire a team that can come back from that far behind to win. No let me correct that, it was a "Very Big Win."

An article in the Sept. 26th edition of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - How Oracle Saved the America's Cup - gave a great summary of what the team did to sail into "The Cup's" history book. From this summary I was able to identify several tactics that the Oracle Team employed that are easily transferred to your career or business.

Let me set the stage - Oracle had fallen behind 8 to 1 and their losses were "ugly"; they knew that they needed to do something different - quickly; whatever they did had to steal the momentum from the New Zealand team in a dramatic way and they painfully knew that their pride (as well as USA's pride) was on the line. After all, they were the defending champions. Here's what they did:

1. They called a "time out" to slow down the pace, assess what was going on so that they could make the much-needed adjustments to the strategy and tactics. All of us from time to time get caught up in challenging situations. Some keep forging blindly ahead continuing to do what hasn't worked. Others take a step back - call a time out - and use the time to regroup and get back on track.

2. During their day off - time out - the team regrouped and studied their past performance; techniques and options on wind foiling. In other words, they studied their game films (a tactic I use with clients) to identify what they should - start doing; stop doing; do more of or do less of. Learning from your past experiences is one of the best ways to create a better future (in their case, win!). Far too many don't take the time to do this in their businesses and end up making the same mistakes until they have damaged their business beyond repair. Winners are always looking to learn anything that will give them an edge.

3. The WSJ article stated "Oracle credited its resurgence on a combination of improvising on the fly, gambling (on wind conditions) and as in any sports comeback, getting very lucky." Well what the Oracle team did was no different than what all successful business people do from time to time - make quick decisions with whatever information they have so as to evaluate the risk in front of them to make a decision to act. There are those who like to study, as I call it, "all of the sides of circle" to avoid making a mistake or taking a risk. These folks usually trap themselves in "status quo" prison. Success for them is a far-off concept they only dream about. The Oracle team, based on the actions they took, created their "luck."

4. The article mentioned that the Oracle Team "had spent hundreds of hours over the past three years preparing and practicing." Many of you have heard me use that famous quote from Lou Carnesecca - "Nothing takes place on the court that doesn't take place in practice first." Some of you do not spend any or enough time practicing how you deliver your product and service so that your customers see you as the solution to their needs. Some of you even think that "winging it" is okay. Let me ask you - are you willing to bet your future success on winging it? You decide.

Legendary film producer Samuel Goldwyn was once quoted as saying "the harder I work, the luckier I get." There are very few overnight successes. What may appear to be a "big break," is usually a result of hard work, mistakes and even failures over many years.

At the end, Oracle's captain, Skipper Jimmy Spithill said "sometimes things go your way." He was being humble. Team Oracle chose to be the master of their circumstances and not a victim. They did what they had to do to take advantage of the opportunity that presented itself to them in that last race. They stepped up and played big and won - BIG!

"None of us truly understand the depth and strength of our capabilities until we are tested. At that exact moment, success belongs to those who have prepared themselves to step up and meet that challenge. The others will just watch." - Chris Ruisi, The Coach


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