We have a small March Madness pool in the Ivy Exec office. Alex, our VP of Business Development on the Professional’s side set it up on ESPN and the 5 of us participating have been having a little inter-office rivalry and fun.
Lesson 1 – It’s good to get a team of people involved in something outside the “mission”.
We’re a small group, we work closely together and we’re focused on making Ivy Exec the best place for top-tier executives. Sometimes it’s good for a team, or a portion of a team to get involved in a distraction. Unlike forced “team-building” activities (I’ve done trust falls, zip-wires and weekend “sojourns”), this was a “who’s in” activity. We’ve had fun poking fun at each other’s picks and the “up’s and down’s” and become a better team because of it.
Lesson 2 – Even those who don’t join get involved.
Elena, who founded Ivy Exec, is not a “sports” person yet and not in the pool. That said, she keeps asking about it, She’s pretty interested in how it works, who is leading and why we bother. Some of Elena’s greatest attributes from where I sit, include her inquisitiveness and desire to learn. I don’t doubt for a minute that Elena will be in next year’s pool. BTW, one of my role models, Steve Jobs, has the same two characteristics.
Lesson 3 – You can go from Goat to Great in a single leap.
Paul has been at the bottom of the pool since its inception. Paul is our VP of Business Development and his arduous task is to go forth and do battle on the sales front, telling companies who Ivy Exec is and how we can make life better for them. Being in sales, Paul is used to having to walk both ways to school, uphill, in 12 feet of snow. Paul also has UCONN to win, no one else has a seat at the table.
Alex, being a Duke MBA chose (surprise) DUKE. I also chose DUKE for a single reason to be disclosed later. Meredith, who leads today and also leads our Marketing and Personal Development team, chose TEXAS (hey, it’s where she’s from). Greg, who works in our Professional team, chose MICHIGAN (but he has VCU in the finals, go figure?).
Drumroll – Why I chose DUKE
Duke is a team that most of America loves to hate, I lived just outside of Chapel Hill and Durham, NC for 2 years and the BB rivalry was, to be polite, intense. I’ve met and spent time with 2 legendary coaches from the area, Coach Dean and Coach Krzyzewski.
Coach K once said that he was successful and noticed by “putting the spotlight as brightly as possible on his players” and that “occasionally some of the light reflects on him.”
Ivy Exec puts the spotlight on top-talent much in the same way, thus my choice.
I didn’t pick BUTLER to go all the way but I do have them in the final 4 where they might face UCONN. So sorry Paul, love ya, but you’re going down if they meet. I also have KENTUCKY and Meredith has UNC (can anyone say OJ Simpson?) so we have a battle coming up as well.
PS we need a few good Fantasy Baseball people to get going, Opening Day is just around the corner.