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Northern Iowa just upset #1 seed Kansas to advance to the sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas has the history, the reputation, the players, the coach, but they are going home and Northern Iowa is moving on. I’m not sure where the school is, who the coach is, or if there are any famous players I should know about from Northern Iowa but that really doesn’t matter. These guys play as a team have executed their game plan without fear against some great teams. Northern Iowa is why we love March Madness. It reminds us that we have a shot to win. That no matter who we are or where we are from we can work hard and come out on top. We love the story and in our hearts we want to live out that story. With that said, here are some leadership principles I am reminded of every year when the tournament starts…

  • Past success is not a guarantee of future success.
  • Teamwork and execution can win over talent and tradition.
  • You have to believe you can win even when everyone counts you out.
  • Take that shot (RISK)…it might just pay off but be willing to take responsibility if you miss.
  • Don’t allow your opposition to dictate your game plan (strategy). Play your game and play it with excellence.

Now I’m done…I love this weekend and love the stories that come up every year! My Tennessee Vols made it to the sweet 16 so I am excited about next weekend also. If your bracket is already trash…who cares…next year will be here soon. Throw it away and start pulling for St. Mary and Northern Iowa!