They say that if you are not first, you're last. That championships defines success and excellence. That winning is everything.
Not entirely true.
There is a lot to be said about the sport of basketball. How this team sport breeds and develops athletes not just physically but mentally. How the sport changes one's perspective in life and work ethic. A sport that unites and inspires others. And I am very grateful to have played basketball for at least a third of my life.
So what's the point if you did not win the championship?
They say that if you are not first, you're last.
True. If there are just two teams competing in that particular league. True. If indeed you are dead last and have not won any games at all. But if you have been in the finals for 3 consecutive years, in reality, I don't consider that being last. It's being competitive. This team climbed from being a 2nd runner up on it's first year, 1st runner up on the 2nd year, and became champions on the next. On our fourth year, after losing our first game, the team never looked back and streaked to the finals. It is unfortunate though that we lost to a better team.
Take for example the San Antonio Spurs. They never won it each and every year (They've won a total of 5 back in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014), but their competitiveness never waned. Each and every year they won anywhere between 50 to 60 games out of a total 82 games. Would you consider the Spurs to be last?
That championships defines success and excellence, and winning is everything.
Indeed it is great to win them all. But it would be the greatest if you've won authentically and without shortcuts. To some, winning is everything, thus they would recruit talents just for the sake of playing. In the professional leagues, why not. But in a BPO industry; come on. One thing I am very proud of this team is that the players are TRUE employees doing actual BPO work.
I will be blunt and harsh on this. Other teams employ half of it's lineup and puts them in a department that needs very minimal office work or none at all. I know because we've done it in my previous employer. And believe me, when we won the championship, the feeling for me wasn't authentic. We took the short route, we guaranteed victory by getting an ex-professional player, collegiate athletes and a couple of amateur league players. For others they even brought in an import.
Really? These guys do BPO work? They go on a graveyard shift? They clock in 9 hours doing actual office duties? Is that defining success and excellence? Sure, sure.
So how come we have ex-collegiate/amateur players in our roster you say? Let's set the record straight. These guys walked into our doors and applied on their own free will. And I am very proud of these two employee-athletes, who have shown much dedication and commitment, both with the sport and with work.
Rhey Mendoza and Danny Pribhdas for me are an excellent example of an employee-athlete. In the past 3 years these two were the heart and soul of the team. But despite being that, they have been unselfish and as true leaders they trusted and believed in their team mates and helped to make them better.
Rhey used to play for the NU Bulldogs and was named part of the Mythical Five and Danny played for the UST Growling Tigers in the UAAP. How much effort they put into the sport is the same level as to how much they exert their effort at work. Rhey is an OJT (On the Job Trainer) who helps new hires during their training period. Danny is one of our high performing employees and is now assuming an assistant team leader role. Regular night shift hours, high stress levels, and yet they deliver both on the court and on the job.
As captain of the team, Rhey said, "Even if we lost this year, what's important is the winning culture that we have. We will come back stronger and better as always."
Winning may not be everything, but the culture that you instill to breed the right attitude and behavior towards work and play, for me is more important. Never give up and strive harder.