The ultimate illustration of perseverance in action took place 31 years ago this month. At the Lake Placid Olympics, a youthful team of amateur hockey players, clad in red, white and blue, skillfully defeated the long-established “Big Red Machine,” the Soviet hockey power. The victory electrified the nation and left observers wondering how the Olympians did the impossible. No one could beat the Russians!
But they had, and not by luck or timing but sheer, repetitive effort. Their savvy coach worked the players so hard, their resentment and desire to “show him” helped them jell into a team. Pride pushed them to display ever-greater effort. Fine tuning their game plan, they didn’t consider the possibility of defeat because they were staying on point, building on each day’s efforts. After the thrill of beating the Soviet team, they remained focused, with a single opponent remaining between them and the gold medal. (Impress your friends by knowing this answer: After beating Russia, the US team beat Finland for the gold!) Their remarkable feat remains unmatched. Today, those former players still cite pure perseverance as the key to their success.
When your customer service efforts seem to be going nowhere, do you refocus like an Olympian on your goal of a better connection? It can be closer than you think.