Tag Archives: herb brooks

Great Moments…

…are born from great opportunities.  It is one of those great quotes and lessons, and now along comes “Linsanity” to remind us that Coach Brooks knew exactly of what he spoke.  Talk about someone earning an opportunity and maximizing it…what a week it has been.

I am not an NBA fan, not even a casual NBA fan.  I am not even a basketball fan.  Sure, March Madness is a blast, and I loved watching the Jordan era Bulls in the finals, but otherwise I am indifferent to basketball.  However, the Jeremy Lin story is absolutely amazing – it is not a Cinderella Story – it is so much more.  Lin is the overlooked grinder, the hard worker, the fighter, the one who battles insane odds clinging to the idea that maybe one day he will get a chance.  Well, he got his chance.

No college scholarship, no NBA draft, repeatedly cut by teams, and above all always discounted.  It is the Rudy story, but it is real, not just a one-off feel good play or two.  Lin is leading a team, both on and off the court.  He is making the sum of the whole greater than the individual parts…in the NBA…the land of egos, guaranteed contracts and figurehead coaches.  It is staggering really.  Who knows how long it will last, but no matter what, Jeremy Lin and “Linsanity” is proof that yes, all it takes is opportunity.

Rocky, Braveheart, The Pursuit of Happyness, Dead Poets Society and “carpe diem”.  Stories, sayings, speeches and other Hollywood sap aside, it is a fact of life – all we can ever ask for is an opportunity.  Yet asking is not enough.  The lesson of Jeremy Lin is that opportunities are not given to those who ask.  Rather, they are earned.  Lin tried, he failed, he tried again.  He practiced, he focused, he fought and he persevered.  He earned his opportunity.  We all know of it because his opportunity to perform came in Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks, a storied franchise, on the largest stage in the largest media market.  All at a moment in time when there are literally no other sports stories – crazy!

The only thing I think any of us would ask of Jeremy Lin is to not go completely Rudy on us. Your story has been amazing, there is no need to overplay it.

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Filed under Current affairs, Sports

Facebook, Innovation, Entrepreneurs and the High Road

It is tough when you are cut just before the big break.  Anyone that played sports probably knows the feeling.  Even MJ was cut once, or so goes the story.  Not many people remember Pete Best, and when they do it is as the guy that Ringo replaced. Well, a new generation has a new face for being “cut right at the moment of greatness” – Eduardo Saverin, one of the co-founders of Facebook. Thanks to the success of the recently released movie “The Social Network” his story as a co-founder is there for all to see.

What is apparent from the movie is that Mr. Saverin, to one degree or another, got the proverbial “short end of the stick” in his dealings with his former partner.  Granted, it is a movie, but there is no denying that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook made billions while Eduardo Saverin was left behind. Not to worry, Eduardo Saverin, thanks to a bit of help from the courts, has done quite well all things being equal.  It is not the financial success that is striking about Mr. Saverin, but rather the high road he took in his column last week on CNBC.  He could have been bitter, jaded, or even tried to ever so gently enhance his part of the story. He did nothing of the sort, rather he took the high road.

It is a great read.  He espouses opportunity, collaboration, and entrepreneurship.  That others have the chance he and his partners did to create, to innovate, to be entrepreneurs, and above all to succeed.  His closing paragraph is amazing:

While watching the “Hollywood version” of one’s college life is both humbling and entertaining, I hope that this film inspires countless others to create and take that leap to start a new business. With a little luck, you might even change the world.

What a great story and example of how to conduct oneself – always.  Well done on a host of levels.  Of course having a billion or so in equity helps.

In the event anyone needs another reminder that taking the high road is always the best course – there is that other classic story of being cut just before the big win…Herb Brooks.  As in coach Herb Brooks and the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”.  The same Herb Brooks who as a player was the last man cut from the 1960 US Olympic Hockey Team – the only other one that has won olympic gold. Karma is a funny thing sometimes.

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Filed under Coaching, Current affairs, leadership