Over the weekend I had the chance to experience a great holiday surprise. It happened at the Georgia Dome where I attended the Georgia single A high school football state championship game between Landmark Christian and #1 ranked and undefeated Savannah Christian.
Savannah was the eventual winner by a score of 20-3, but struggled to finish off their perfect season against Georgia’s fourth smallest GHSA school, Landmark. In fact, the score was only 6-3 with five minutes left in the game.
Cue the surprise . . . Landmark.
Landmark entered the playoffs unranked and actually had to win a play-in game just to make the playoffs. The War Eagles entered the title game on the heels of five straight road wins as the underdogs. They were within five minutes of becoming the first #4 seed to ever win an outright Georgia state championship.
I had the chance to watch several of Landmark’s games this year. Doing so taught me several things.
* Hard work, given time, defeats talent.
* Teamwork beats individualism.
* Belief is a prerequisite to greatness.
* It is more fun to win as an underdog than it is as a favorite.
Which brings me back to the surprise.
No one in their right mind would have predicted Landmark’s playoff run to end the season. But that is how surprises work. They are unpredictable. Unexpected. Even sometimes undeserved.
As you continue into the Christmas season, I challenge you to work hard, team up, exercise faith, and have fun.
I suspect if you commit to those four actions, you will find yourself surprised.
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.