Heels Crush Duke, An Entrepreneurial Lesson

Big Red Car here.  Nice — very nice — day in the ATX.  Who cares about the weather today?

Duke took a drubbing over at Chapel Hill at the hands of the Tar Heels.  That should reverse the impact of global warming, no?

The story behind the story

As you well know, the Heels beat Duke 74-66.  [Thank you, God.  I promise to go to church on Sunday for the rest of my life.]  The back story is huge and there are a lot of accolades to be distributed.  Here are a few:

1.  This was a coaching tour de force with two Hall of Fame coaches having game planned an ambush for each other.  Tar Heel coach Roy Williams threw a new 1-3-1 zone at the Dukies.  The Heels have never used that defense all season.  They were waiting for this moment.

Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke coach affectionately known as The Rat, called time out and schooled his players on how to defeat the 1-3-1 — the guy is a Hall of Famer and knows the damn game.  A 1-3-1 zone is not rocket science.  What does Carolina do after that time out?  It comes out in a man to man defense.

Coach Williams was hoping that the Heels would be close in the second half of the second half so he could screw with the Dukies’ heads with alternating man to man, 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones.  That is coaching.  And it worked.

2.  The Heels are a horrible free throw shooting team — horrible.

How do they win it going down the stretch?  Shooting free throws going 10-10 and then a freshman goes to the line and with ice water in his veins, shoots 4 for 4.  That’s rising to the challenge, no?

3.  The Heels were unranked having been whipped like a red headed step child earlier in the season by Belmont University — you know that powerhouse, right?  Then the Heels beat #1 Michigan State, #3 Louisville, #11 Kentucky and now #5 Duke.  Who are these guys?  Now the Heels have run off 8 straight wins.

4.  The Heels lived through a real blow losing their top projected scorer in PJ Hairston — now scoring 30 per game in the NBA Development League in Austin by God Texas.  Can you imagine if he had been in the line up?

So, Grasshopper, what are you to learn from this?

Learnings for entrepreneurs

Founders, enterpreneurs, CEOs — there is a message in this glorious tale that is exclusively for you.

1.  In the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values and Culture continuum there is a huge opportunity to vanquish your competitors and to lead the market with a thoughtful strategy and tactics even when the market is skeptical of your chances.

2.  Be a Hall of Fame performer and develop a Strategy and Tactics — then assign Objectives — that will do what the Tar Heels did to the Dukies.  Engage and win.

3.  You can overcome any obstacle — even an unranked Tar Heel team can beat the snot out of a #5 Duke team with a bit of emotion and heart.  The Heels had promise all the time.  Ask Michigan State, Louisville, Kentucky and The Rat.  Never take counsel of your fears, plan to win.  Win.

4.  Critical personnel can be replaced with no loss of team effectiveness.  It will not be easy but it will also not be fatal.  Learn to live in the real world.  Nobody is more important than the team.

5.  You can convert your weaknesses to strengths — free throws — if you will only try.  How did this lousy Tar Heel free throw shooting team find that stretch run of accuracy?  Look at your team and overcome your weaknesses similarly.  If you take out one sub who went 0-6, the Heels shot their free throws very respectably.

6.  That freshman — Nate Britt who went 6-6 from the charity stripe — who sealed the deal down the stretch?  Develop such talent within your organization.  People will rise to the challenge when thrown into the spotlight.  Don’t be reckless, be daring and prudent.  You can do it.

Now, let’s get it together CEOs & entrepreneurs & founders — whip a Hall of Fame performance on your marketplace.  You can do it.  Take a lesson from the Tar Heels.

[At the end of the game when it was clear that the Heels were going to win, did you see The Rat sitting back on the bench resigned to his fate.  What was he thinking?  He was thinking — somebody stole my freakin’ cheese.  He was also plotting revenge.  That’s what Rats do, ya’ll.]

Hook ‘Em, Heels!

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.






One thought on “Heels Crush Duke, An Entrepreneurial Lesson

  1. Coach K is a great coach. Learned his craft on the streets of Chicago, then West Point. I think the Heels are hurt because they are so young. No one stays in college for the long haul anymore. Hallmark of the Heels were once they graduated a Perkins, Worthy, Jordan, they kept coming.

    Good analogy to entrepreneurship. Another lesson is to stay flexible. Listen to the market. When the market of the game changed, the Heels changed too.

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