April 4, 2016

Should Cinderellas Really Be Considered Underdogs?

If you’re watching the NCAA tournament, chances are you’ve seen a few big upsets. I don’t think many of us predicted wins by Hawaii, Northern Iowa, Yale, Steven F. Austin, and Middle Tennessee State. But are these teams truly underdogs?

Maybe as Malcolm Gladwell points out in his analysis of David and Goliath, these teams may not be underdogs at all. Here are three factors I’ve noticed that may be swinging things in the favor of “Cinderellas”:

Player Experience: Big time college basketball programs have great talent but it’s often young talent, who leave for the NBA after one or two seasons. Some of the lesser-known teams, who upset these big programs in the tournament, might have less raw talent, but they have experienced juniors and seniors. They have played together for a much longer period of time, developing chemistry these one and done teams don’t have.

Underestimated: No matter what a coach says, the heavy favorite has a tough time believing they are going to be beat. A #2 seed, on paper, is a significantly better team than a #15 seed. Often players for the #2 seed are looking ahead to games against other similarly ranked teams, and by the time they see the upset coming, it’s too late.

Effort: For these underdog teams, the game means more. They don’t need to win the National Championship to be heroes; they need to win one game to be remembered. Even when they lose they can become legends (think Princeton versus Georgetown in 1989). In the early rounds of the tournament the underdog teams typically give more effort; they’re going to give their best because they have to in order to win, and hopefully they catch Goliath sleeping.

These same factors apply in business. Some small companies have incredibly experienced people but are often underestimated. Like each win in the NCAA, each customer is vitally important to these smaller organizations, resulting in customers receiving their best effort, every time. Next time you’re looking for a service partner, talk to Duke, Kansas and Carolina, but make sure you consider a Middle Tennessee State too. They may surprise you.

Tags: RPO, sports

Author
Mike Gamble

Mike doesn’t fit the typical “sales guy” mold. At first blush he might be the last person you’d expect but he’s the best person to lead business development. With a background in science, he knows the industry and our clients’ business from the inside. With a quiet demeanor he’s a great listener, capable of really hearing and understanding the problem that needs to be solved. Plus, like his deep-seated passion for his sports teams, Mike has an unyielding loyalty to the relationships he’s built over the years, always staying in touch and connected.

Mike’s extensive staffing background and even his sense of humor help him infuse different ways of looking at situations, welcomed by clients and colleagues looking for a creative, collaborative solution.

Mike has nearly 20 years of experience designing comprehensive talent acquisition solutions for leading healthcare and life science focused organizations. In his role, he is responsible for leading the sales effort across TSP’s full suite of offerings. Prior to TSP, Mike worked for Yoh, a leading staffing and workforce solutions organization where he held various leadership and sales executive positions. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Ursinus College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University.

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