Question: What do Albany lacrosse and Dell Computer have in common?

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That there’s no such thing as a sure thing in sports or business!

Keeping your edge and focus, whether in sports or business, is one of the keys to maintaining a lead and crossing the finish line first!

Having just returned from an NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinal game between SUNY Albany and Notre Dame, I was struck by how it serves as a metaphor for what can happen when a result is assumed!

In business it happens when a firm in a leadership position becomes complacent and loses it drive to take risks and innovate.

In a lacrosse game it’s when a team goes on a 6-1 run to take a 5 goal lead with eight minutes to play and assumes that the game is in the bag.

Either way, bad things can happen and often will!

In the sports example at first it was euphoria on one sideline (Albany) and despair on the other (Notre Dame) after a close game appeared to be broken open and with Albany heading to its first Final Four in school history.

Complacency and Assumed Outcomes

In business, examples include firms such as Dell and Blackberry who were industry leaders before a failure to innovate and keep their eye on the ball that is the consumer led to their steep decline.

In sports, when the outcome seemed assured with what seemed to be the clock and momentum on its side, it would be the Albany 14-13 overtime loss to Notre Dame!

The result? Euphoria on one sideline (Notre Dame) and despair on the other (Albany) while Dell has become somewhat irrelevant and I may own one of the only Blackberry’s still being used today!

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