During Wimbledon, American tennis player John Isner played Nicolas Mahut for three (3) days. They set records for the longest match (11 hours, 5 minutes), longest set (8 hours, 11 minutes), most games in a match (183), most games in a set (138), most aces (215), and most consecutive service games held (168).
As I watched these determined athletes, it reminded me of some of the epic RPO service provider battles that I have both participated in and witnessed over my 14 year recruitment process outsourcing career.
When two (2) RPO firms clash it normally last a lot longer than three (3) days; however, many of the same attributes as the Wimbledon match are evident.
Also during the holiday weekend, I just finished reading The Last Ember by Daniel Levin so maybe I just have conquest on my mind.
Like the marathon Wimbledon match and the Roman Empire, these epic RPO competitions show flashes of brilliance, lapses of judgment, remarkable recoveries, extreme exhaustion, moments of utter despair, and finally, for one contestant, extreme exhilaration.
Winning is obviously great (and necessary for business survival). However, what is the cost of blindly pursuing one opportunity at the expense of everything else? What happens when the focus or obsession becomes about this one prospect and other potential deals get far less effort or no effort?
And as we witnessed with John Isner, he expended so much to beat Nicolas Mahut that the next match he lost in record time. Interviewed after his quick 2nd round exit, Isner commented that he was burned out, need some time off, and wouldn’t be competing in the next couple of tournaments.
I’m not suggesting that it would have been appropriate for Isner to throw the match; however, his marathon clash is directly impacting his future success and opportunities.
Long term goals can be disrupted by the fixation of winning the one big deal. In fact, some of Pinstripe’s best wins and clients came while our competition was clearly distracted by some supposed mega opportunity.
Success is about winning with balance and rhythm over a period of time. Our steady climb is in large part due to this key philosophy.