I took my kids to games all the time when they were younger. Sometimes it happens where there’s a blow out, the game gets out of hand, and the stands start to empty.
“Dad, can we go?” they would ask.
No, we would stay firmly planted in our seats. Why?
“Now I can see who is really playing this game.”
I always think you can learn a lot about a team and its players when the final score becomes just a formality. If you see no difference in someone’s play, regardless of the score, you know what type of player and ultimately what type of person they truly are.
How you finish one game has a lot to do with how you start the next game, which is something that’s been talked a lot about during all of the blowouts in this year’s NBA Playoffs. A lot of people get respect for ending something with class, hard work, and doing things right. Just because you’re losing, it doesn’t mean you lost, not only on the field, but also in business.
I think back to a story Christine Jones told me. She was the former general counsel at GoDaddy and was running for Governor of Arizona. Towards the end of her race, her opponent got nasty. While Christine ultimately lost, she stayed on course, focused on her issues, didn’t end as a sore loser. She never threw anything negative back at her opponent.
So what happened? Sure enough, Christine got called for 5-6 prominent, dream job-type offers at major companies that loved her style and the way she went about her business.
It’s how you finish, not necessarily whether you win or lose that sets you up for the next game; the next opportunity.