Your Best Flu Game: Achieving Success

“I was really tired, I was very weak, but somehow I found the energy and stayed strong. I wanted it really bad.” These are the words spoken by all-time NBA great, Michael Jordan immediately following his 1997 “Flu Game” against the Utah Jazz. For those who are unfamiliar with the flu game, it’s a game that basketball enthusiasts will never forget. With flu-like symptoms and a weakened immune system, Michael Jordan scored 38 points and led the Chicago Bulls to victory in the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz.  The series, prior to that game was tied 2-2, however, Jordan’s perseverance gave the Bulls a much-needed edge to win the series. I heard one narrator say “while Jordan was still drained, he was finding the strength to persevere. And with that sheer determination, he would keep Chicago in the game.”

This victory transcends sports. The same determination displayed by Michael Jordan is a key characteristic for success. As professionals, there are times when we are feeling under the weather. However, we cannot allow challenges – physical or emotional, to deter us from achieving our goal. What I loved most about Jordan’s flu game was his selfless determination to pull through for his teammates. As leaders, our decisions impact our team, and a decision to give up will have a domino effect.

This is not to say that we should ignore signs of physical fatigue, illness or emotional setbacks. For optimal well-being, it is to our advantage that we remain in-tune with anything that may prevent us from operating at our highest level of success. What I am saying, however, is that we stay focused on our goal. And, in order to be focused we must clearly identify the goal and know exactly what is required to achieve that goal.

Michael Jordan, by his own admission, knew he was tired, knew he felt weak, but he found the energy and he stayed strong. In other words, Jordan stayed the course. At times you may find yourself feeling drained, and overwhelmed, but don’t give up. Check out my top ten nuggets for achieving success.

  1. Know your goal
  2. Identify steps to achieve your goal
  3. Develop a strategy to achieve your goal
  4. Plan to succeed
  5. Enlist the help of your team
  6. Stay focused. Don’t lose sight of your goal
  7. Know your strengths and rely on those strengths
  8. Find time to rest
  9. Relax, Unwind and Rejuvenate
  10. Follow-through with your goal

Michael Jordan wanted to win. Do you?


LeBron James’ first NBA Title: A Professional and Personal Victory

Photo courtesy of NBA

For the past several months I’ve listened and watched as sportscasters, friends and colleagues alike have spoken ill of the now 2012 NBA championship winner, LeBron James. I’m relatively a “newbie” when it comes to basketball; however, I consider myself an intelligent woman, so naturally it didn’t take me long to figure out why there were so many LeBron “haters.”

It seemingly all began when James was a player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and made “the decision” to leave Cleveland and join Miami Heat. According to “critics” It wasn’t just the fact that James joined the Heat; it was the immature, self-centered way in which he went about it. If I’ve not learned anything else, what I have learned about basketball fans is that they are extremely loyal. They will stick with their team and respective players to the very end. No matter how badly they play or how arrogant the players are, the fans are fans for life. If you doubt this, then take a look at the millions of loyal New York Knicks fans who have never jumped ship; but that’s another blog post.  With that type of loyalty it’s no wonder LeBron’s decision to make a very public and unapologetic departure from the Cavaliers rubbed folks the wrong way.  I can remember shortly after James signed with Miami Heat, there was, in my opinion, an exaggerated  “Miami Heat Celebration for the Big Three,” LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Watching the fan-fare that day even left me feeling a bit disgusted. Well, LeBron James has been on everyone’s hit list ever since.

Photo courtesy of NBAIt would take a dozen blog pages to thoroughly explain the steps taken for James to get to this time in history and that is not my intent or desire.  I do have one question… What will it take for LeBron to redeem himself? Less than 24 hours after he clearly earned his NBA championship ring, many critics continue to criticize LeBron James. While many clearly see his professional transformation and maturity over the past year, there are still many who continue to focus on his past.  By his own admission, James has done and said things that he would have done differently. We’re all guilty of letting our emotions get the best of us. I say to the LeBron critics, don’t you have a past that you’d rather soon forget? So what is it that makes us so judgmental of others? What I’ve seen in James is someone who has done quite a bit of self-reflection and fought hard to become a better person on and off the court.

When I hear Lebron’s story, I see not only LeBron James, I see a generation of people simply traveling through this thing called life and trying to be the best we can be.

Out of all the lessons I’ve learned from watching basketball this past season, I witnessed the importance of acknowledging mistakes, making a self-assessment, setting goals and working towards that goal. LeBron James, the greatest player of this generation reminded me of those lessons. He took a much-needed self-assessment and did what he had to do to make a change that would not only impact his life, but the lives of others. Not only did James become the 2012 NBA champion, but he also became a better man for it. We should celebrate not only his professional victory but his personal victory as well. He is indeed a role model, for kids, college students and business professionals.

Will you take a chapter from LeBron’s very public life lesson and apply it to the areas of your life that need improvement? You too can be a champion; however, like LeBron James, you must be willing to do what it takes to get there.

Congratulations LeBron James and Miami Heat for a job well done.