The University of Maryland Men’s Basketball team led in a game for only 27 seconds of the 40 minutes of play. Fortunately for them, two of those seconds were the last two of the game. The team went ahead 3-2 in the opening minutes, then trailed, sometimes by as much as 15, until a long 3-point shot tied the game with :19 remaining and a free throw with two seconds left sealed the win.

You can use the game to motivate yourself or your (organizational) team about the value of never giving up. It would have been easy to consider the game a lost cause or to hold back on the effort thinking it useless, but the Terps stayed with it until the end and came out victorious.

t’s also a lesson on the flip side. I’m sure that the Illini thought they had their first conference win locked up, and I would not be surprised if the players lessened their intensity while cruising ahead by more than a dozen points for an extended stretch. Yet, as the lead slipped away, the momentum and energy were hard to regain.

Like basketball, most things in life accrue in small increments. Point by point, bit by bit, and moment by moment actions occur that change the ultimate outcome. Keep the end goal in mind and persist, no matter what side of the lead you are on.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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