In boxing, two men put on the gloves and square off toe to toe. When the bell rings each man understands the outcome will be determined by their preparation, skills, and endurance. Men who dedicate their lives to this sport choose it for very personal reasons. The most captivating fight is when there is an underdog in the ring. Underestimated by others, the underdog believes in himself and sets out to prove his worthiness to others.
Boxing legend James J. Braddock has a great underdog story. He was the Cinderella man. Born to Irish immigrant parents, Braddock’s career as a boxer fell short as the nation plunged into the depression. This husband and father literally fought to put milk and food on the table for his family. When he finally got his break it was because someone truly believed in him. In1935, after a 15 round bout against heavy weight champion Max Baer, he became the new heavy weight champion on the world.
When I read stories about the underdogs of the world I get this understanding, this confidence about people. I know that even when the odds are stacked against them, the human element comes alive and overcomes the obstacles.
Most of us have the capacity to overcome the odds but not everyone taps into the hard work and dedication required to get beat the obstacles. The power is there, you just have to dig deep enough and want it with all your heart and being.
Braddock could have been a mediocre fighter but he was driven by the need to provide for his family, the support of his wife and manager, and a willingness to not let failure slow him down. He persevered and won.
Underdogs in business know that every customer brings great value so the focus is on building trust and delivering above expectations. They are hungry and their work ethic shows with each contact. Compare this mindset to the vendor that thinks you have no other options and he’s entitled to your business based on name recognition alone. Who do you think will be the better partner?
Find your underdog and develop a partnership. Your underdog will value the business relationship and find ways to best serve you, the customer. They will prove themselves to you if all goes well, will be a champion to your company.