“ No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.” Tommy Lasorda
Let’s call it the 1/3 theory.
You’re good. Maybe you’re really, really good. But the client doesn’t care that you’ve done the same assignment 30 times and have sterling references. There is just something about how the competition positioned themselves. They offered up a fresh insight. They play golf every Thursday with the CFO. They lost a proposal with the same client last year and it’s payback time.
Or, perhaps you are the wild card. You’ve got a new firm or it’s a new relationship. Maybe you made a misstep in the proposal stage. Somehow, improbably, you won the assignment. You may never know exactly why you won, but deep down, you know it wasn’t because you were hands-down the best fit for this assignment.
Not much you can do about either case. But what about that last third you can influence: the third that makes the difference in how you finish your season?
Tommy might say you have to show up, be in your best condition, and play smart with heart. You’ve got to be clear on who you are, what you do and why it matters. You’ve got to connect with your client and show them—not just tell them—how great it will be to work with you. You’ve got to plan your game right, taking into account their culture, appetite for change and readiness for what you’re proposing. You’ve got to care. Deeply.
How’s your 1/3 going?