Just one week ago today, the Chicago Cubs broke a 108 year old drought to win the World Series, 8-7 in the 10th inning, over the Cleveland Indians.
T hroughout one of the greatest games in baseball history which ran to almost five hours, I couldn’t help but wonder:
Why is the 7th Game of the World Series so much more exciting than any other baseball game?
Why is the 7th Game of the World Series So Exciting?
By any measure, Game 7 was an exciting game and will go down as one of the most treasured and legendary games in baseball history.
But, there are some powerful themes at work in a 7th Game. As I watched it, I jotted down at least 9 unique ingredients that made it so exciting. I think we can apply many of them to make our business, and its landmark events, even more powerful.
Let’s start by identifying some of these unique characteristics.
1. Tension. Just knowing it’s a critical event … for all the marbles … makes a big difference in our heightened interest and awareness.
2. Last chance. Knowing that there is no other opportunity to achieve a particular goal also heightens the interest and excitement.
3. Opportunity. This is similar to the last chance, but it’s an acknowledgment that similar opportunities may not come along. It may not be the last one, but it’s a special one.
4. Pressure. This is probably the result of the tension, stakes, and last chance combined, but the pressure to perform at the highest level isn’t lost on any of the participants.
5. Star power. This is the excitement of each participant knowing that their contribution to this unique event could be exceptional and an unparalleled chance to boost their reputation. It’s a chance to be a hero in the best sense of the word.
6. Leave it all on the field. This spirit appears when the chips are down. At these junctures, most people realize they can reach deeper, go farther, run faster … and if there was ever a time to do it, it’s now.
7. The reward. The greater the reward, the more people are motivated. Whether it’s for dollars, recognition or trophies, the reward is significant and highly visible.
8. The stakes. The stakes have to be high enough to differentiate this event from others. It’s the reward, but it’s heightened by all the other factors into a monument of its own.
9. Everything Matters. Even a minor misstep or mistake can make all the difference. You know you need your A-game. There is no room for error.
What Lessons Can We Apply to our Business?
What if we could embed some of these conditions in certain of our business activities?
What lessons can we take from the 7th Game of the World Series to inspire us?
Here are 4 Important Themes to empower your own activities and create powerful events in your business. You can laser-focus these lessons on landmark events, certainly … but every day, you can be mindful of how these forces might shape the way your team approaches its challenges.
1. Raise the Stakes
How can you frame the challenge in front of you in the context of its importance?
In part, you can strengthen the rewards. The rewards don’t have to be monetary. They can be team awards of an infinite variety that you believe will motivate your teams. Prizes. Trips. Trophies. Time off. Your choice.
Remind everyone this may be a last chance at success – to make this month’s quota, to meet this quarter’s goals, to beat the forecast … there are countless ways you can emphasize the importance of a particular activity.
Remind everyone that they won’t get a second bite of the apple. The stakes are high and now is the time for everyone to … Rise Uppa!
When you do this, you’ll get greater focus and more attention from your team. Don’t wear it out and do it too often, but at the appropriate times, this can make a big difference.
2. Everything Matters
This is the time to leave everything on the field. Maybe it’s a new store opening that’s been heavily advertised and can’t be delayed. Maybe it’s the only time the big brass has come to town and you need to hit all the right notes.
Even the smallest detail matters. Yes, the devil IS in the details and this is the time to check, and double-check to make sure you’re ready.
There won’t be a second bite of the apple. The stakes are high and now is the time for everyone to … Rise Uppa!
3. Emphasize Each Individual’s Role
Help everyone recognize the value of their role and how the process breaks down when even one person falls behind.
Let them know this is a chance for them to show their “star power” and to really make a difference.
Your plans should include specific roles and responsibilities for each person on the team. Not only does that ensure compliance and prevent “dropped balls”, but it emphasizes the importance of EVERYONE’S role in the success of that activity.
4. Adrenaline Works
Do the first three right and you’ll generate the Adrenaline that will help you go “off the chart” with your success.
Adrenaline causes a noticeable increase in strength and performance, as well as heightened awareness.
In short, it provides the muscles with extra oxygen, redirects blood toward major muscle groups, and decreases the body’s ability to feel pain. It’s a magic elixir that is stimulated by tension and pressure and excitement and it can fuel achievements far beyond your expectations.
If you can inspire your people, emphasize the stakes … portray the unique opportunity … you’ll see that everyone will to meet the challenge.
Go ahead. You can do it.
Hit the ball out of the park!