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Game Plan for Success

Being five foot tall (in heels!), basketball isn’t a sport that I’ve watched or participated in regularly. However, this week the story of the TCU women’s basketball team caught my eye.

In the unpredictable realm of sports, adversity can strike at any moment, testing the mettle of even the most accomplished teams. The TCU women's basketball team, ranked 23rd in the Associated Press top 25 with an impressive 14-0 record, found themselves facing a monumental challenge. Four of their star players were injured, followed by three more, leading to the forfeiture of two crucial games.

Campbell sent out a campus-wide request for students with basketball experience to try-out as a walk-on for the team. Fifty students showed up, many with impressive high school basketball experience, and Coach Campbell was able to fill the team. They went on to win their next game against UCF and will gradually be reintroducing some of their scholarship players back onto the court. Instead of succumbing to despair, Coach Campbell exemplified resilience and a solution-focused mindset that holds valuable lessons for business leaders navigating challenges in the corporate arena.

Adaptability in the Face of Uncertainty

In the business world, as in sports, unforeseen challenges are inevitable. Leaders must be prepared to adapt and adjust their strategies when faced with unexpected setbacks. Coach Campbell's quick thinking in sending out a campus-wide request for walk-on players showcased the importance of being flexible and open to unconventional solutions. In business, the ability to pivot and explore alternative approaches can be the key to overcoming obstacles and maintaining forward momentum.

Leveraging the Power of Team Collaboration

When adversity strikes, the strength of the team becomes even more critical. Coach Campbell's call for walk-on players resulted in an influx of fifty enthusiastic and skilled individuals. The subsequent success against UCF demonstrated the power of collaboration and unity in overcoming challenges. Business leaders can draw inspiration from this by fostering a collaborative culture where diverse talents and perspectives are valued. Encouraging teamwork enables organizations to tap into a wealth of collective knowledge and creativity to navigate difficult situations.


Identifying and Utilizing Hidden Talents

The walk-on tryouts brought forth students with impressive high school basketball experience, revealing untapped potential within the student body. In the business landscape, leaders can learn to identify and leverage the hidden talents of their team members. This approach not only strengthens the overall skill set of the organization but also fosters a culture of inclusivity, where every individual's strengths are recognized and utilized for the collective benefit.

Maintaining a Positive and Solution-Focused Mindset

Despite the adversity, Coach Campbell maintained a positive and solution-focused mindset. Instead of dwelling on the challenges, he actively sought ways to rebuild and move forward. Business leaders can adopt a similar approach by focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. A positive mindset not only boosts morale within the team but also inspires confidence and resilience in the face of adversity.

In the TCU women's basketball story, Coach Campbell's resilience and creativity have not only salvaged a challenging season but also provided a playbook of valuable lessons for business leaders. By embracing adaptability, fostering collaboration, recognizing hidden talents, and maintaining a positive mindset, organizations can navigate adversity and emerge stronger than ever. As the TCU women's basketball team exemplifies, it's not about avoiding challenges, but how you rise to meet them that defines success.

“You are going to have adversity and curveballs that you didn’t see coming in life. You still show up, you roll your sleeves up, and you get to work. You can’t put your head down.”

Mark Campbell

TCU Women's Basketball Coach

 If you are facing challenges and would benefit from an outside perspective to help you look creatively at solutions, let's chat!


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