While we all have varying interests in television programming, we can assume with confidence that you were able to watch at least some of the Olympic events. One morning’s office chatter centered around the high-stakes women’s beach volleyball competition between the USA and China. If you missed it, you can imagine there were nail-biting moments of intensity during this tightly-played, highly-anticipated game. It was unclear, until the final play, which team would win its chance to compete for the gold medal.
As the game played on, it became apparent that the Chinese had closely studied the strengths and weaknesses of their two-time gold medal-winning opponents, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings. Allocating shots to the opposing team’s weaknesses, the Chinese disrupted Misty and Kerri’s momentum and strategy.
After joining forces in 2001, Misty and Kerri went on to compete in three Olympic Games and are now widely considered to be the greatest beach volleyball team of all time. Their experience, poise, and unspoken communication is evident throughout their matches as they never appear flustered and seem to have a sixth sense for where the other is at all times.
Having observed the tactics employed by the Chinese and going down 13-7 in their first set, Misty and Kerry remained cool and relied on their experience and trust in each other. While the match remained close throughout, they pulled out a close win and dramatically earned a slot in the finals of the 2012 London Olympics. After that Misty and Kerri went on to win their third consecutive gold medal. At least this is not a “spoiler alert” some weeks after the Olympics.
After we recounted the details around the water cooler the next morning, the parallels to the financial arena were obvious. While the stock market can certainly have nail-biting moments, maintaining your cool and relying on your financial strategy, experience, and expertise is imperative for success—as is adjusting to whatever life (or your opponent) expectedly throws at you.