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Networking Miracles: Three Principles That Make You a Believer

Admit it: Whenever you embark on networking you hope (even deep down inside) that your actions and activities connect you to someone or something that leads you to wondrous (almost miraculous) results.  This, then, begs the question – using sport announcer Al Michaels famous call – do you believe in miracles?…which is a wonderful segue into a great sports story.

During the height of the cold war, the Soviet Union built a hockey dynasty. Beginning in the early 60’s, the Soviet national hockey team was virtually unbeatable at the amateur level. They had won every Olympic gold medal since the 1964 games, overpowering every opponent in the process. The Soviet hockey machine even held its own against professionals, basically tying the NHL All-Stars in a multi-game series.

With the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games fast approaching, the Soviet hockey team was again the favorite for gold. In fact, they expected to manhandle the competition as much of their veteran 1976 Gold Medal team was back.

While potential rivals were mentioned – teams like Sweden, Czechoslovakia and West Germany – this was merely done in an attempt to create a meager amount of intrigue for the event. In short, there was no one that gave any one much of a chance against the Soviet hockey juggernaut, least of all the United States.

In fact, the young American team – comprised of mere college players and NHL long shots – was given no chance against the Soviet squad. Further bolstering this conclusion was the fact that the Soviet Union had pounded the Americans 10-3 in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden the week before the start of the Olympic games.

Despite the long odds, the Americans faced off against the Soviets in the opening game of the medal round.

Despite being outmatched, the Americans met every challenge posed by the Soviets.

Despite being out shot, the Americans found themselves tied with the Soviets half way through the third and final period.

On February 22, 1980, the long shot, out matched, out shot American team scored with 10 minutes to play to take a 4-3 lead against the Soviet Union. A lead they hung on to for the remainder of the game. As the final seconds ticked away, announcer Al Michaels exclaimed (as this country held its collective breath), “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? YES!

This remains as one of the most famous calls in sports broadcasting history. This performance touched the heart of America like no other. This victory served to galvanize the pride and patriotism of this country at a time when we needed it most.

This will be forever known as “The Miracle On Ice.”

This, however, was no miracle. There are no miracles in sports – God reserves these for parting of Red Seas and feeding thousands with a few fish.

The Miracle On Ice was no miracle; it was destiny.

The Americans may have lacked experience, but they did not lack a vision – Coach Herb Brooks clearly reinforced that from the moment the team was assembled.

The Americans may have been outmatched by the Soviet hockey army, but that never stopped them from believing – they knew that collectively they possessed a unique talent that would ensure their success.

The Americans may have been disregarded by everyone, but that did not dampen their commitment to put forth the necessary hard work.

The Miracle On Ice was simply destiny.

So what is the point? How does this relate to networking?

Simple. Networking is no different than sports. There are no miracles. This, however, does not mean that marvelous things cannot happen.

The lesson of the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey gold medal is simply that wondrous things can and will occur whenever you have the:

•    Courage to have a consistent vision of what you want from your networking; and,

•    Confidence to have an unwavering belief that your abilities are special and uniquely designed to add value within your network; and,

•    Discipline to maintain an untiring work ethic to give to your network in the form of contacts, information and energy.

In summary, if you find and maintain this level of courage, confidence and discipline, one day your networking will yield you a “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?” kind of day.

This post is part of a monthly sports themed networking series entitled “The Huddle” by Frank Agin.  Frank Agin is the founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and consults with individuals and businesses on how to become more successful through networking. He is the author of Foundational Networking: Building Know, Like and Trust to Create a Lifetime of Extraordinary Success. In addition to this professional development book, he is the author of a sport-related novel, Out of the Comfort Zone. He can be reached at [email protected]

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14 Responses to Networking Miracles: Three Principles That Make You a Believer

  1. Kirk Mango November 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Great article!!! I would extend your comments regarding courage, confidence, and discipline to life as a whole. Whether sports, career, marriage, family, or anything else for that matter, those attributes you speak of are essential for ones success.

  2. Tracy November 14, 2008 at 10:35 am #

    Great Article! The points were valid. Although I knew them, they way this was written with great style and intrigue, kept me reading to the end.

    Networking is essential in all parts of life. Nothing anyone ever does should be without networking. Radio Connection is about focused on training and networking. By taking and putting its students immediately into their field of interest and placing them on the inside of their career not behind a desk/book. Those who want to be sportscasters are matched with someone who is. Someone wants to be a radio dj, are matched with a radio dj, etc. Students work with their mentor to get trained while networking. Thus, the resume process already has a huge lead on a head start. You'll have many connections you'll need to make it happen. Radio Connection is hands on experience while making connections. http://www.radioconnection.com

  3. Annette Huygens-Tholen November 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful moment in sport. Mindset is a wonderful thing that you can apply to anything and everything you do. Not to mention, the benefit of teamwork – often we think we are limited by how can we do things on our own whereas the limitation is thinking you have to do it on your own. Let's work together!

  4. Basement Bathroom March 24, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    Great Article! The points were valid
    I would extend your comments regarding courage, confidence, and discipline to life as a whole.

  5. Assembly Equipment June 3, 2009 at 3:39 am #

    Hockey machine, very powerful words you had used, as i had read the success is made possible by the players and so their trainers it takes to discipline oneself to become a good player in a certain sports or field.

  6. inflatable boat June 4, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    Sports gives a big contribution for us to have a healthy life. In fact sports like swimming, boating and table tennis are the sports that I'm addicted with. These sports keeps me stronger.

  7. blake's bondage restraints June 6, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    Conquering the long odds of any sport takes a lot of courage and confidence. And as a team, communication is a very valuable element. With these three “C's” every effort will turn into mere futile attempts at succeeding.

  8. chinee inflatable June 11, 2009 at 4:18 am #

    it is amazing 、unbelieveable!!!

  9. moving labor boston June 15, 2009 at 5:23 am #

    I love sports for it keeps us fit. In fact, being an athletic person can be a key for you to live a longer life. So we better move and do our favorite sports.

  10. SLR Camera June 16, 2009 at 3:08 am #

    Thanks for sharing this sports article this can see your courage and confidence to your self….

  11. Pyrotechnic Automation June 19, 2009 at 11:30 pm #

    Teamwork is always key in a group sports..Not only in sports but also in business marriage etc.. All must practice to do this..

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