Momentum

Momentum is a difficult topic to discuss. How do we describe it? It’s not tangible, so what are its features? Does it even really exist?

Oxford Dictionaries defines momentum as “the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events.” The Baltimore Ravens were a driving force gained by the course of events in the first half of the Super Bowl. They carried their momentum into the second half when they returned the second half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown. Ravens fans were in a frenzy. The team was playing tremendous football. The Ravens had momentum. They were not just a driving force, but a dominating one.

And then it happened. The lights of the Superdome went out. A blackout. A 34 minute delay in the Super Bowl. During this delay, the Ravens fans were quieted; the Ravens players lost some of their swagger; the 49ers had time to regroup and collect themselves. The 49ers used this major event to change the momentum. They came out and outscored the Ravens 25-6 after the blackout and nearly won the game. It would have been an amazing comeback, a comeback enabled by a course of events that switched the momentum from one team to another.

So what did we learn about momentum from this eventful Super Bowl and how can it impact the organizations we lead?

Although you can’t see or touch momentum, you can feel it. You feel it in the attitude of your team, the morale, the camaraderie, the support, the productivity, and the results.

Momentum can be fleeting. Just because you have it now, does not mean you’ll have it for long.

If you don’t have momentum. Don’t give up. Stay in the game. Keep fighting. It only takes one event to start the momentum swinging in your direction.

Confidence breeds momentum and momentum breeds confidence. When your team performs with confidence, they tend to perform at a higher level. These positive events create momentum for your organization. At the same time, the momentum is felt by your team and it makes them more confident in the work they do. There is a synergistic force created by confidence and momentum.

Momentum is not normally shared. When your competitor has momentum, you don’t. When you have momentum, your competitor does not. That’s why you work hard to get momentum and work even harder to keep it.

If someone hints that they don’t believe in this thing called momentum, it will be difficult for you to talk them into it. But put on a replay of the 2013 Super Bowl and I think they’ll see that momentum exists and is a powerful force.

Thanks for reading,
Jim

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