“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.
Know your goal
Identify steps to achieve your goal
Develop a strategy to achieve your goal
Plan to succeed
Enlist the help of your team
Stay focused. Don’t lose sight of your goal
Know your strengths and rely on those strengths
Find time to rest
Relax, Unwind and Rejuvenate
Follow-through with your goal
Michael Jordan wanted to win. Do you?