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Once again it’s the NCAA basketball tournament, aka, March Madness. This year’s tourney has created great headlines for all of the (major) upsets. I feel fortunate that my alma mater, Marquette, has made it to the Sweet 16, again.

As I was telling some friends last week, for many teams, to do well, it comes down to:

  • Where they play.
  • Momentum, being hot at the right time.
  • Matchups, Wisconsin’s style causes problems for Indiana yet Wisconsin is out and Indiana is a number one seed and still playing. What if those two teams were matched in the first round?

When I first looked at all the teams that didn’t have great seasons and are still playing I wondered if making the round of 16 meant as much as if it was filled with nothing but thoroughbreds. Then I realized that it means even more to have lived up to your rankings when many others couldn’t.

The same applies in business, and life. Look at who’s doing well and emulate them. Don’t look at failures and under-performers and avoid what they did. And above all, change with the times. What worked 10 years ago may not work today (and if it does it probably does so in a vastly different way). And, by the way, I said emulate them, not imitate them. We all have to be ourselves and let our personality shine through.

“What you have to do is work with the raw material you have, namely you, and never give up.” Helen Gurley Brown

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