Why you should always keep an eye on the underdogs, the young star, the up-and-comers ...
I was raised in a small town, in a small state, with unconditional support for my dreams, goals, and aspirations. I know that not everyone is as fortunate, but I certainly was and even at a young age I was grateful for that and recognized how truly blessed I am.
We were raised in a family that demanded dedication to your schoolwork and your team. This was always instilled in us strongly; so, it's no surprise that I love my local sports – Boston sports.
One of the many lessons that I was taught when I was in grade school was that you should NEVER count out the underdogs. No matter how many odds may be stacked against them, or how little they seem to be brought up in conversation or recognized for talents - never count them out of the running.
Watching the Celtics play in the NBA Finals this week against Golden State, something has become very clear to me – the announcers never seem to give credit to the underdogs, the young kids, the guys that are fighting for their chance. While Golden State has been to the Finals six of the last eight years, not one of the Celtics players have made an appearance, yet they still seem to overlook the Celtic players. They are putting in their all to show the world that they earned it – they belong there, and they are not going to back down without every effort displayed on the court.
This should be no different in a professional atmosphere. Why do we always seem to place so much emphasis on those that have done something for years, over the person who is grounding themselves and earning the position and experience while they grow in the position? Why do we automatically believe that because someone doesn’t have 5+ years of experience doing this exact job that they are not worthy of the role or a good fit?
I can say with 100% certainty that everyone makes mistakes; you will fail, you will fall, you will have to take credit for something that may have gone ary – because you are human. We all mess up and stumble, it’s what you do after that speaks to your character. Will you own up to your mistake and fix it, leading by example. Or will you walk away and try to place blame on others, proving that you are who they thought you were.
I like to think that most people are good, and they will support those that are stepping up in roles, getting those promotions, and dreaming big. Chasing after their goals daily. But if you find yourself questioning someone solely based on their age or their lack of experience, yet they have given you no reason to question their work, effort, or deliverables; I want you to think of this and remember that just because they’re young doesn’t mean they’re not capable, competent, and eager. Just because they aren’t “vets” to the role or the company, doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy or willing to go the extra mile to see your organization succeed.
If this is you, and you are feeling like you are putting in max effort for your organization and one, two, or even ten people don’t seem to want to you give you a chance – remember that it is less about you and more about them. Keep chasing down your dreams one day at a time, and embrace the madness.
Until next time, and I promise it will be sooner than the last.