The power of partnership. In the final seconds of the April 4th 2016 men’s national basketball championship game between Villanova and North Carolina, it was on full display. Fans were treated to a true nail biter as the two teams were tied at 74 with the Wildcats in possession of the ball.
Ryan Arcidiacono received the ball from teammate, Kris Jenkins. With 4.7 seconds remaining, he brought the ball up the court preparing to run a well-practiced play Villanova called the “Nova.” He had options. He could take the shot himself. He could pass to an open teammate. As the New York Times reported Arcidiacono saying, “If I could get a shot, I was going to shoot it, but I heard someone screaming in the back of my head. It was Kris. I just gave it to him and he let it go with confidence.” Often, in business, the harder we drive toward the goal, the more difficult it becomes to listen to those around us. But it’s vital that we find a way to hear them.
Jenkins’ three-point shot won the game and the tournament for the Wildcats. It was the first Villanova NCAA championship win in 31 years.
Immediately after the buzzer, the court was flooded with fans and Jenkins was smothered in confetti and congratulatory hugs as the team and fans celebrated a truly stunning victory.
It’s the power of a great partnership, however, that is even more laudable.
As the players and fans return home and the media frenzy fades, a few lessons are worth remembering.
- Ryan Arcidiacono had possession of the ball in the last seconds of a tied national championship game. He could have taken the shot of a lifetime. But he didn’t. Instead, he listened. He stayed open to other possibilities than the one that would seem to have most benefitted him personally. Staying open gives us the oxygen we need for fresh ideas and approaches that help us reach our goals.
- Kris Jenkins was where he needed to be. Other teammates were tied up, guarded by North Carolina players. True to the play they were running, Jenkins came from behind, trailing the play and able to make the shot. A great business partner is in the right place at the right time; ready to help you make the right play.
- The Times reported that the Wildcats had practiced the Nova play hundreds of times. Arcidiacono, Jenkins, and the rest of the team knew where to be and what to do. When crunch time came, they were ready and they were there for each other. That’s great teamwork and great partnership.
These are instructive lessons for business because they're what great partners do off the court. Listening, staying open to great opportunities, and being there for each other are the keys to a confident and successful partnership in any industry or market. They're the goals we at Connexions Loyalty shoot for with our own partners.