Make Your Own “Lin-sanity” Career Move

Jeremy Lin is an unlikely basketball star.  In just a few weeks he was propelled into spotlight as a result of his star athletic performance on the court.    Basketball scouts overlooked Jeremy from high school and was undrafted after college.  He was signed and traded around as a bench-warmer, without much hope of significant play time.

Let’s take a look at what we can all learn to manage our careers.  While not all of us can be stars, there are lessons to be learned:

1) One is never given the opportunity; you must earn it

  • All the stats would indicate that Jeremy should have been snapped up by an NBA team.  Consider the tireless practices with his father during his early years.  He led his team to champion chip games in high school and at Harvard. 
  • Jeremy waited patiently, even playing for development teams, until the right opportunity came about due to injuries.

2) Don’t do your best; you must excel

  • Doing your best doesn’t cut it anymore.  It is a very competitive environment, both on and off the courts.  Jeremy was called to play on that fateful day and he came out charging, leading his team to k a 99-92 victory over New Jersey.
  • You only have one chance.  Making every moment count is the only way to be relevant.  Look for ways to add value.  Identify the areas that has been troubling the boss.  Fill that void.  Make it count.
3) The boss takes a gamble; you must not disappoint
  • It seems that Coach Mike D’Antoni was rotating through point guards.  In the game against the Nets, the coach is likely desperate to make a play and summoned Lin to play.  He didn’t know what Jeremy could or couldn’t do.  This was the moment Lin needed.  When his moment came he simply exploded on the court when it counted the most. 
  • Put in your best and even excel in your workplace.  Don’t take those rare opportunities for granted.  It may not be today or the next, but with consistent and persistent you will be noticed.
4) When you do well; everyone else does well
  • Jeremy Lin lifted the struggling Knicks to a winning streak.  He has in effect ended the contract dispute of network television in New York. Along the way, he has brought in a new global audience, those who are not the typical NBA fan.
  • Winning is infectious.  Doing your best will uplift your team, department, or business division.  You can build momentum giving teammates new found confidence.
5) Be humble; give credit
  • Jeremy has taken the NBA by storm breaking records, even against the best.  Everyone is crediting Lin with the wins and phenomenal success.  Lin gives credit to his faith, teammates and fans for his game wins.  However, he takes the full ownership when game losses.
  • You might be the project team leader or the division manager.  But, nobody makes accomplishes on their own.  There are other stakeholders and team members working together to achieve the same goal.  Thus, it is important to credit where credit is due.
These are my 5 lessons for that anyone can apply in the workplace, not just on the basketball court.  Chances to make a difference don’t come up everyday. But, when it comes up, make every moment count.
All the best on and off the courts.

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