4 Leadership Lessons to Learn from UNC Losing
Not every loss means you’re a loser
Trill or Not Trill?
A few days have passed and for some, the dust has settled. The University of North Carolina Men’s Basketball team just played in one of the classic NCAA Championship games in recent memory. Instead of winning their 6th title, they lost the game in heartbreaking fashion, at the buzzer to the Villanova Wildcats. We’ve all heard the line “moral victories are for minor league coaches”, but there are key elements we should take from all losses (This is dedicated to a certain friend of mine in Philly.)
The Ability to Dissect and Address
After the tears and disappointment, Coach Roy Williams has to examine what worked and what didn’t work so that next time the results are in his favor. As a leader, you must examine your losses even more so than your wins. If you choose not to learn why you didn’t get the desired outcome and correct it, you will continue to lose. Insanity is to continue making the same mistake over and over. If you don’t believe me, see the Philadelphia 76’ers or Katt Williams.
How to Bring the Team Together
“I wouldn’t trade this team for anyone.” Those are the heartbroken words of Coach Williams during his press conference. After a tough loss your team will be broken, in both belief and resolve. A good leader will never pass out blame or dwell on the setback. Coach Williams will focus on the positive efforts of the team. Even though the goal was not met he must assure them of his belief in them, their belief in themselves and in each other. Praise the young men for giving their all and for doing that for the betterment of the entire team. If you can do this you will have a group ready to work even harder to achieve when the next to opportunity comes.
We saw grown men crying. We saw them laid on the floor, crushed. We saw Crying Jordan Faces everywhere. What we didn’t see was negative outbursts, rage or fights. Your reaction to the realization of a loss is extremely important. If you lose your composure those who follow you will believe that such a course of action is acceptable. Remember that a loss or setback is simply that; it’s temporary. What you do after this occurs will determine if you’re ready to win next time or if you’re ready to catch more L’s.
Your team has lost. You’ve kept your composure, praised your team’s effort and performance and even broke down what went wrong and addressed it. Now what Coach Williams and all good leaders will do is spin that loss into new motivation. Not only do we want to get back to where we were, we want to take it a step further. Remember how that loss felt. We never want to feel like that ever again. Set new goals. Preach focus and a stronger work ethic. Never let them lose sight of what the collective goal is. That is how you recover and regroup. If you can spin loss into positive motivation, you and your team, organization or company will look like these guys when the dust settles.
Soye Tom-George is a lover of all things education, sports and hip-hop. He is a former teacher and football coach that now works as Business Assistant at the Board of Education in Orange, NJ. Soye earned his degree and St.John’s University in Jamaica, NY (firstname.lastname@example.org)