USA World Cup: Leaving with Heads Held High

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The US pulled out a last minute win against Algeria only to eventually lose to Ghana. Oh, but what a fantastic loss it was! I can only hope my failures turn out to be this successful.

For the first ninety minutes and then into overtime, the whole game was intense. Both teams kept fighting back and forth with major melodrama. They were continually trying to get fouls called each other so they could shoot a penalty shot. In fact, the only goal the US was able to score against Ghana was when Dempsey took a penalty shot. And that must have been a one-time deal because later when he was offered another penalty shot, he took it, and missed.

Every single one of the US players played an awesome game. Stepping it up and giving everything that they had at the end. Landon Donovan to Gomez to Dempsey. It was beautiful.

Even the commentators as the game neared the end of overtime, were rooting for the US to get another goal and send the game into a penalty shoot out. But as the game closed and it was obvious the US was not going to be able to penetrate the Ghanaian defense, it wasn’t a searing loss. The United States could walk away from this World Cup knowing they had done their best. It was just a matter of the other team playing a better game that day, and that was all. Inspiring a nation of teenagers to be soccer players, and at the same time you didn’t even win the game. Now THAT is a good performance.

As I approach project management, I want a great performance to be my goal. Sure, we take steps to plan and be prepared because successful projects are what we are after, but the reality is that not every project will end successfully. There are many reasons and factors that play into this reality.
As project managers, we can focus on performing to such a high standard that even when we fail our customers, clients, employees, and even competitors will acknowledge us as being good at what we do.