Industry Insights

Keep March "Madness" All Year Long!

TOPIC: Customer Service

KEYWORDS: March Madness, Commitment, Visualize

Every year when March Madness rolls around I know it marks the beginning of the end of the year! The year goes very fast after March; baseball season, football season and then Christmas. That's about it for me! Truth be told, I'm a youth basketball junkie. Coaching five-year olds up through high school AAU teams has occupied A LOT of my free time over the years! While my teams never compete in March Madness, these NCAA games always create a ton of examples for my players. Persistence, will to win, team work, great character traits; a ton of great stories come out of March Madness.

One of my new favorites is Collin Sexton who I had the opportunity to watch as his team (the University of Alabama) played Texas A&M in the SEC tournament last week. Collin had fought hard all game, and A&M was still prevailing with 4.6 seconds left having hit a three to take the lead. To not hang your head at that moment and believe you can win, takes a lot of "madness." Practice after practice, game after game; the season is long. Colling was mad to perform. He took the ball 90 feet through traffic, and tossed in a finger roll at the buzzer for his team to win! Alabama would likely not have made the tournament with that loss. Millions in this country are getting ready once again to witness some crazy things during March Madness. It's only just begun!

Be Obsessed ALWAYS!

How easy is it to apply the March Madness "madness" state of being to our everyday routines? An appropriate synonym for "mad" is perhaps "obsessed." I think it's fairly easy to translate into our world, or I wouldn't have asked the question. :)

Account Managers, are you obsessed for your customers' care? Recruiters, same question regarding your candidates and hires? Are your teammates obsessed about serving your customers, candidates and hires with out of this world care and service? Are you working like you only have 4.6 seconds left to make the play of your life?

How about after a series of defeats? RFP responses declined? Responses to your presentations sort of lukewarm recently? Let's remember Collin Sexton again. He was a top recruit in the country. A leader on the floor. However, Alabama was arguably about to play their last 4.6 seconds of the season. All of his great effort and that of his teammates fell short to this point. Collin didn't let defeat seep into his mindset. He was simply focused and obsessed with winning. You never know when a customer or candidate is going to need your best. When you think of a person who is obsessed / full of passion for a job, do you see that person ever letting up or quitting? These individuals won't stop until it's time to retire, or the industry has fully benefited from all the value their company offers. They are in a persistent state of adding value.

Here's the hard part. In business, our season is all 12 months. There is NO off season. One year rolls right into the next. We have to be obsessed about delivering value in every opportunity all season long, day after day, month after month, year after year. Keeping that level of "mad" enthusiasm day in and day out is the goal. Now that is either depressing to hear or embraced fully. There isn't a third option for us. This can be difficult as everyone definitely has great seasons of life, and then sometimes things seem harder. We must keep this "madness mindset" no matter our circumstances if we are to succeed for our customers, candidates and our families.

Does Vision Fuel Your Action?

I've learned, as I'm sure many of you have, over the years to not to take anything personal. Have conviction over your value-add and then let the chips fall. Just like a player can't control the referees, we can't control a customer's or candidate's ultimate decision, only our effort. A vision of success, with a happy smiling customer, can help keep your effort level high! Think back to your childhood dreams; sports, art, science, exploration, etc. For me, I must have shot the game-winning shot in the NCAA tournament 1,000 times. Sometimes I'd shoot it 12 times in one afternoon until I got the result I wanted!

This is the technique I still use. It's fairly simple and works for me (not sure I'm glad to be sharing that fact)! Just as a child can reset a dream and go at it again and again, we can keep placing that huge contract win or wonderful customer experience into clear focus. Each time we "reset", we are able to go about our business with the determination and passion that we're going to undoubtedly witness in the next few weeks! There will likely be several unsung heroes this March. They undoubtedly will come from a past filled with defeats. We CANNOT let our past experiences effect our enthusiasm or passion for what we're doing next (be it in March or November).

How do you keep yourself performing at a high level? How do you reset after setbacks? I'm obsessed with learning more in this regard!