April 19, 2023

You Don’t Always Have to be in the Game to Add Value

You Don’t Always Have to be in the Game to Add Value

April 19, 2023

While riding the ups and downs of this year’s atypical Final Four, I couldn’t help but wonder if accountants get to enjoy the drama as it unfolds on the courts. Is it unfortunate timing, a welcome escape, or an ironic twist that while athletes are hard charging on the court, accountants are nose to the grindstone in the office? It made me contemplate what it takes to prepare for the Final Four, tax season, and, quite frankly, success in life itself! In full disclosure, I bleed purple, so my frame of reference may be a little biased.

Peak Performance Requires Proper Preparation

No matter what your endeavor, peak performance requires proper preparation. Gather the supplies and equipment you will need to be successful. Air up the balls, sharpen the pencils, lace up the shoes, and have a new eraser handy. Have you done the work to ensure you are physically, mentally, and spiritually ready to take on the challenge? Are doctor appointments completed, updates on rules reviewed, and a personal support system briefed and in place? Check, check, and check! Practice makes better. Know your stuff inside and out. Make sure you are ready to make the shot, file the taxes, and face any challenge head-on. Habits are the cornerstone of success. Identify habits that will sustain you through the gauntlet to ensure a winning season. Determine your pre-game ritual, find your groove, and get pumped! 

Get a glimpse of K-State’s team ritual to find their groove before each game

Expect the Unexpected

A game plan is imperative to success on the court and in the office. However, life rarely follows the plan. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best can foster a mindset to tackle obstacles with a positive can-do attitude. Contingency plans are also beneficial tools as long as they don’t become constraining and stifle create problem-solving. While you can manage distractions, they are inevitable. What framework do you have in place to mitigate distractions? What distractions are beneficial, and should you embrace them as part of your plan? Probably the most insightful way to tackle the unexpected is to be adaptable. Step in and step up when you can. Trust and let go when you have to. Hopefully, others will do the same in return. 

The way Bill Self, the KU coaches, and the team approached an unexpected and unavoidable distraction this season is commendable. They may not have made it as far in the Final Four as they had hoped. However, the numerous takeaways in Coach Self’s post-season press conference are far more valuable life lessons than a Final Four victory. Competition be warned, this legendary basketball coach and program will return stronger and better than ever.

Trust Your Team

No one can do it all alone. Leadership is crucial, but assembling the right team is invaluable. Fostering growth, encouraging camaraderie, and stepping back on occasion so others can shine are all signs of a great leader. Trusting you can lean on your team, from coaches to players, in moments of peril taps a new wealth of strength and resilience. It helps you press on, push harder, and sometimes even relinquish control when needed. A well-executed assist elongates play potential and unleashes the magic of synergy. The energy that follows can be a game-changer. While the razzle-dazzle of on-court MVPs can create electricity, there is a quiet pulse that is just as vital. While these unsung heroes typically don’t get the accolades of the MVP, these MIPs (Most Influential Players) are possibly more important. They are the undercurrent, setting the tone and bringing everyone together. Their unexciting, monotonous rhythm is the heartbeat of the team. They are quiet, unassuming, and incredibly powerful.

Nate Awbrey is a great example of a MIP. He saw very little court time but profoundly impacted the K-State coaches, team, and fan base. Kind of like the Rudy of K-State basketball. 

Get Your Game Face On

Preparation can only take you so far. How you perform during the big dance makes or breaks your success. Injuries, fatigue, penalties, errors, and many other obstacles will occur. You have to be ready to play through the pain. Rely on your tools and have your support mechanisms handy; Gatorade, pain relievers, extra batteries, whatever it takes to push through. Be ready to take risks when needed. When the ball is in your hands, don’t hesitate to set up and take the shot or pass it to a teammate. Believe that you and your team have what it takes to win! Push yourself and each other past what is possible to achieve what feels unattainable. Lay it all on the line and give it all you’ve got! Leave no room for second-guessing or regret.

Keyontae Johnson could have easily given up on his dream to play basketball again, but he preserved and found a way to get back on the court, doing what he loves.

Sometimes You Need to Know Others Notice & Care

The benefits of a solid plan and team amplify when the circle expands to those outside the inner circle. In basketball, the sixth man is how fans influence the game by cheering and chanting for their team. A glimmer of success can grow into a raging fire as the wave of enthusiasm spreads through positive interactions with fans and clients alike. Future stars are inspired by what they see and are influenced to emulate their favorite player. Current fans can’t wait to share success stories of how you made their day, month, or even year! Peers from other sectors take time to recognize your efforts, praise your work and refer others to support you. Even family and friends cheering from the sidelines have an immeasurable impact on the success of your work. 

Coach Tang gave props to opponent Florida Atlantic and shared words of encouragement as they continued on the road to the Final Four.

Oh Yeah, and Have a Little Fun!

You can have the plan, the team, the drive, and the support, but if you don’t take time to have some fun along the way, even the most well-intentioned gamer will burn out. Life is all about balance. The key to success is finding your perfect equilibrium. Push, but not too hard. Want it, but don’t let it destroy you in the process. Set your sights high, but have realistic expectations. Mistakes are okay. We all make them. What you do during the lows will determine how high you can soar. Above all, take it all in as you go. Enjoy the ride, learn from the turbulence, and celebrate every victory, no matter how insignificant it may seem. It could be the first step on the road to subsequent success!

KSU Football Re-enacting KSU MBB Final Four Highlights

In case you missed it, here is a highlight reel from March Madness 2023

Author Information

Liz Gaume

Liz Gaume

Kansas Society of CPAs

Membership & Marketing Coordinator


Liz is responsible for member recruitment. stewardship & engagement, marketing, sponsorship, and chapter relations. She also works collaboratively on KSCPA events and accounting career development initiatives. She is a  graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in marketing and joined the KSCPA Team in 2020.

The Ignite blog is an official publication of the Kansas Society of CPAs, Copyright 2023. 



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