Blog: march 20, 2015

Jimmy V and Taking Your Business to the Next Level

I’m sitting at home watching the ESPN 30 for 30 episode of “Survive and Advance.”

For those who don’t know, this film is about the 1982-83 North Carolina State basketball team and their run through the ACC and NCAA tournaments.  They went into the ACC Tournament 17-10 and needing to win the tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament.  In their path were Wake Forest, North Carolina with Jordan and Perkins, and finally, Ralph Sampson’s Virginia  (a team that they had lost the 8 previous times). 

Their unlikely run of 9 do or die games included seven games of which they were losing in the final minute.  Their NCAA run ended with their memorable win over Houston’s Phi Slamma Jamma in the finals.

At the beginning of the 1982-82 season, Jim had the entire team practiced cutting down the nets…practicing winning a championship.  This was something that Valvano reminded his players throughout the season…that they would win a championship.

But an underlying theme that I saw in this film was Jim Valvano’s mindset, his thinking outside the box in coaching.  He had an amazing zest for life, saying in his ESPY speech that a full day would include laughter, a time for thought, and a movement of your emotions to tears.   And his foundation’s motto…don’t give up…don’t ever give up, is how carried himself as a coach and a person.  

Now, how does one relate this to the business world?

In order to take your business to the next level, one cannot go wrong following Jimmy V’s lead.

The first thing is that you must have the same passion about your work.  I know from time to time everyone gets in that rut of thinking that this is the same ole thing day after day. 

A good way to get out of this mind set is to think outside the box.  Do something that is not the norm!

Valvano surprised everyone during his ’83 run when he had N. C. State foul intentionally the last minute of a tied game.  He was not going to let the opponent dictate the outcome.  His thinking was at worst he would have the last shot to tie the game.  But even better, if the player missed just one free throw (and he was betting that the pressure would get to the player), State would have a shot to win the game…IT WORKED!

A saying by which Jimmy led his life was, “Ordinary people do extra ordinary things.”  How could a team that was 17-10 going into the conference tournament win the NCAA title?  You got to believe!  Take your passion for your business (or job) and apply it to everything you do.  Not just the big events, but for the everyday things like customer service or inventory.  Believe that you are going to win that championship and cut down the nets.

When I got to USA Drug, they had let their website go dormant for years and had no presence on the internet.  While at the time the majority of their customers were 55 and older, they were not reaching the younger population with the new media.  Their customers were literally dying off.

We upgraded the site to have online prescription refill ordering. We started getting apps for ordering prescription refills, and interacted with our younger customers on social media.  Slowly, we started gaining market share in our major markets.

Ask yourself, “Are you really doing all you can in your job?”  Or are you just going to ride the wave out and do what has been done the past ten years?

You need to step it up and get your edge back. Your competition is!