How to Get Up Off the Couch and Win the Game Like TJ Yates

couchThere is something to be said for making the most of every opportunity given to you in life.  This past Monday night we saw a great example of that when TJ Yates came off the bench to step in for Brian Hoyer and lead the Houston Texans to victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.  What was he doing just a few weeks before that?  He was on his couch watching NFL games like the rest of us.  After just a two week crash course (or refresher) on the playbook he was called on to lead the offense and it wasn’t flashy by any means but he got the unlikely win over an undefeated Bengals team.  Here are just a few of the things we can learn from that to apply to our professional careers:

  1. Keep your mind and skills sharp as you never know when the next opportunity is going to come to you.  Especially when you aren’t working (aka got cut from a team), it can be challenging to get motivated to learn new skills and to stay in game shape.  However, you never know when a big interview (team tryout) is coming and your game-readiness will be put to the test.
  2. Stay focused on your goals and believe that they can still happen.  After struggles or failures it can be really easy to give up on your dreams and sometimes that is in reality what you need to do.  However, if you are still in your prime and think there is a shot then don’t give up until you have exhausted all of your options.  If you don’t believe in yourself and your chances then nobody else will either.
  3. Once your big break comes that isn’t the time to let up, you need to bust your butt to learn the playbook.  When you get a new opportunity it’s time to show the people that hired you that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help the organization win.  The faster you get back up to speed and learn the policies, procedures, and strategies the more likely you are to help the business win.
  4. Play the role the organization needs you to play.  Every position on the team is important whether it’s the backup quarterback spot or starting role.  What is important is if your organization needs you to step up and make a big presentation or fill in on a project for a client, you jump in with both feet and give it your all letting everyone know that they can count on you when they need you the most.
  5. Some things just seem to be meant to be.  For TJ Yates, he seems to be destined to beat the Bengals.  Last time he had a great run in 2011 as a rookie he stepped in due to an injury and beat them not once, but twice (he won a playoff game against them as well).  You never know who your Bengals might be maybe it’s that competitor your organization is always up against that has been crushing it lately (undefeated and always winning the business).  Maybe you are the difference maker that can lead your team to victory over your competitor consistently.

I don’t know but there is just something magical about what TJ Yates accomplished on Monday night.  It’s a story that many can relate to because it’s about stepping up and making the most out of the opportunities that life throws your way.  So ask yourself this… are you ready?  What are you doing to make sure that when your organization needs you to step up, you lead them to victory?