When Giants Fall To Underdogs
In any industry, there are giants that control the market. They have enormous resources at their disposal and manipulate the market to their advantage. In normal life, such behavior may be termed as greedy, but in business, it may translate to increasing market share. These giants have the capacity to cripple your market entry strategies especially if you do not have enough resources to compete at their level. How is this related to our lives and the pursuit of our dreams? Sometimes when you look at the giants in the industry you want to operate in, you are more likely to give up because your subconscious mind will continually ring a bell of…”you don’t have a chance”. I recently met a young man who wanted to be a hiplife artist but lacked confidence as he thought the hiplife industry was saturated and there was no place for him in the industry. I could see real talent in him but could tell he was daunted by the ingenuity, the class act and the creativity in the hiplife industry.
If you don’t believe in yourself and appreciate the fact that you are unique and that the difference you bring to the market is what people will buy, then you can easily talk yourself out of the market and give up. I believe you have also thought the same way before? Probably you feel you have no chance in life? Does it therefore mean underdogs don’t have a chance in life? Does it also mean there is no market share for you in this saturated competitive world?
Thank God the questions above have answers courtesy of Leicester City football club, the foxes. They have proved that, underdogs too have a chance in life. They have broken the code of success. They are the new hope for me and you that feel there is no place for us in the market we operate. I call Leicester City the new David of our time. They have defeated the Goliath’s of English premier league. They bring a new dimension of possibility in the face of uncertainty as they have caused the giants in English football to fall. Nobody ever thought the likes of Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham will succumb to Leicester City. If they have achieved this tremendous success with their scarce resources, then there is hope for you too. If you feel an underdog in pursuit of your dreams, then I’m here to tell you that, you can turn the tables to be the giant you wish to be. However to do that, there are lessons that need to be learnt from the foxes.
Leicester City was crowned the winners of the English Premier League on Saturday the 8th of May 2016. Who in their wildest dream ever thought Leicester City will win the premier league this season? They won with style. They are an incredible story not only in football but sports in general. The joy on the faces of the players amidst emotional expressions, the management team, the back room staff and the fans says it all. It has been a mind draining journey, physically challenging and over stretch of their scare resources, but it’s been a worthwhile journey. They have made history that will be told for generations to come.
I read an article in the Mail online website where Jamie Redknapp has defined Leicester City’s premier league title triumph as a beautiful accident. To me, whether is a nigh day wonder or an accident, I believe they have done what many could not achieve. They deserve all the praise and accolades for exceeding expectations and doing the unthinkable in the face of fierce competition.
Leicester City was promoted to the premier League in April 2014. When they were promoted, did they have any ambitions of winning the Premier league? Did the players ever think of winning the league one day considering playing for a team like Leicester City? I know maybe you have asked yourself these questions before considering your background. Sometimes when you look at the successful people in the industry that you operate in, does it scare you or cause you to give up the pursuit of your dreams? It is easy for Leicester City to give up winning the league when you consider playing against the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. Competing against such successful teams and considering the resources at your disposal means you can easily lose the battle in the mind before it becomes reality. Have you giving up on your dreams because of the success story of your competitors?
Ranieri, the manager of Leicester City has 30 years of experience as a manager with nothing or little success to show for it. He has managed big clubs like Juventus, Roma, Valencia, Athletico Madrid and Chelsea just to mention a few. The closest Ranieri has come to winning the premiership in his managerial career was when he was a manager at Chelsea. However he never gave up in his quest to be a successful manager. How many times have you tried in pursuit of your dreams? Have you given up because you have tried so many times with no successful story to talk about? From the look of things, Leicester City is one of the teams that he has managed that I believe could have been more discouraging considering the fact they nearly got relegated the season prior to this season. However, I think when all hope is lost, that’s when success shows up on condition you still believe you can make it.
What was the ambition of Leicester when they got promoted to the premier league? Was it to win the league or survive relegation? They have proved everyone wrong and they have created a path for many in life that think, there is no way out for them in pursuit of their dreams. What can we learn from the story of Leicester City and what conclusions can we draw from it to inspire us to the next level of our lives? Let’s consider the following;
Money Does not buy Success all the Time – When you look at the likes of Man City, United, Chelsea etc. and the kind of investments they made this season, you can conclude that money does not buy success all the time. The success of Leicester City started in the mind. Napoleon Hill says, ‘what the mind can conceive, it can achieve it’. Hence your mind is not a vacuum but a power house to generate success in spite of the available scarce resources at your disposal. Leicester had one of the least expensive players in the premier league, they didn’t have a big pool of expensive players nor did they have a celebrity manager like the bigger teams. However they BELIEVED in their dreams.
Are you still waiting for the ‘star players’ of your life to start that dream? Are you still waiting for that huge amount before you start the journey to your success land? Leicester has proved the theory of having everything in place before you can be successful wrong. Leicester City is telling you today, start with what you have in your hands, believe you can make it and work hard as if there are no giants in your industry. Who says you cannot make it? You are your own limitation in life. Rise above all the evidence that says that, it’s not easy and create your own world full of desire, passion, a positive mindset and an atmosphere that breed’s success.
Courage – Nelson Mandela of blessed memory once said, ‘I learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear’. It is true there are big industry players in your market, fear has gripped you but that should not stop you. Courage and self belief is what you need to succeed in today’s competitive market. Confidence starts with self. Believe you can make it and it will happen.
Have a Strategic Focus – A life without strategy is like a car without GPS system. Meaning you do not have a route to your destination. According to the BBC sports website, Troy Deeney who is a striker for Watford pinned down the success of Leicester City on these three accounts; counter attacking football, strong formidable defends and excellent clinical finish of their strikers. What strategy do you have to beat the competition in your industry? You need to have a clear strategy that will make it difficult for your competitors to thrive.
Ranieri’s Leadership Style & Team Work Ethics – The leadership style of Ranieri was what made all the difference. In one of his interviews, he said, ‘’I’m a pragmatic man – I just wanted to win match after match. Never did I think too much about where it will take us.’’
He took the journey, one step at a time. That takes a lot of pressure off him and the players. That is it is better to take bites than chunks. He further created a sense of unity and family amongst the players. Leicester played as a team. Sometimes I wondered who played in which position as they worked so hard to cover for each other. The match between Tottenham and Chelsea that decided the league and made Leicester City the winners of the premier league with the Leicester players watching the match together sums it all how united they have grown to become. Meaning they are more of family than just mere football players working to earn a living. I’m going to give you some of the inspiring quotes of Ranieri that engineered enthusiasm, hope, bonded the team and created a family.
When discussing the upcoming player of the year awards in a press conference, Ranieri said;
‘All my players should be on the list. They are all my sons, they are sons for me and I would like all my sons there’
What a way to make every player feel important and a sense of belonging. How do you treat your team members? Do you divide to rule or you create unity for your team to grow and thrive.
He also told his players, ‘when you go on the pitch and you hear the song ‘Fire’ from Kasabian that means they want warriors.’ I want to see them as warriors for the fans.
On the pitch, you have to take an armor of a warrior. That is the way to overcome the battle ahead. That is how Ranieri created a fighting spirit in the team. They succeeded because they connected to the fans. So players, management and the fans formed a triangle that inspired them every single match.
Lastly he said, ‘’I always tell my players to find the fire within themselves. A chance like this will never come around again. Seek fire – don’t be ashamed of it’’
This means, you need to learn to take your chances in life. How prepared you are will determine how you utilize the chances place before you. What is your burning desire, what fire is burning in your belly and how passionate are you to succeed. Ranieri always sparks the passion and enthusiasm of his players with his encouraging words and sense of humor.
Sense of Humor – One thing I learnt from Ranieri especially during press conferences and through Leicester City’s journey to stardom and success was his sense of humor. He poked fun of difficult situations; he smiled through the storms and created an atmosphere of fun. We need to learn how to dance in the storm. The challenges sometimes are overwhelming but learning to pull a smile in the midst of difficult moments can make a lot of difference. We need to learn to enjoy the journey. Most at times we want to get to the top before we enjoy it. However enjoying it every step of the way makes the journey an easier one.
In conclusion, Leicester City has proved a point that, the underdog has a chance in life. However it comes at a cost and that is to believe in your abilities and to have a mindset that is not perturbed by the intimidating nature of the giants in your industry. Success like that of Ranieri and his team does not come on a silver platter. It involves hard work, dedication and belief that, every challenge can be overcome irrespective of who is next in line. Playing the likes of Man United, City, Arsenal and Chelsea home and away signifies how strong Leicester is in terms of their mental strength and their preparedness to succeed without fear or intimidation from their opponents.
You are also born for greatness. You are the next in line for headline news. Succeeding against all odds can be your portion too. Who says you can’t make it? Who is deceiving you? Who is telling you that you don’t have a chance considering the giants in your industry?
Leicester City is the new hope of possibility. I have really learnt a lot from their success story. Now I believe that if I continue to work hard as an Inspirational Speaker, I can be on the same platform with the likes of John C. Maxwell, Les Brown, Anthony Robbins and many renowned inspirational speakers of our time. Leicester has made the word possibility a reality in my life. For me, I will always look back just for reference but will continue to move forward until I get to the Leicester City of my life.
I want to end by saying that, it’s possible if only you believe.
Author: Oscar Bimpong