Industry Views

Pending Business: Harnessing Desperation

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imAre you desperate enough to be a superstar seller or great manager?

Fellow fans of the NBA, especially all of us based in Miami or Milwaukee, know the name Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 28-year-old, 6’ 11”, 240-pound NBA superstar is affectionately nicknamed the Greek Freak, reflecting his Greek-Nigerian roots. In the past few days, his words dominated the sports news cycle. An emotional two-minute response to a question posed by the Milwaukee Bucks beat reporter Eric Nehm set off a viral frenzy.

Not a basketball fan? Antetokounmpo has 15 million Instagram and 3 million Twitter followers who know him well. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who earns about $40 million a year playing basketball, was asked by Nehm if he felt his team’s 2023 playoff performance was a failure as they lost to the lower seeded Miami Heat and were eliminated from the 2023 NBA playoffs.

Antetokounmpo’s answer was so riveting even a competing owner, the super shark himself—Mark Cuban – complimented Giannis in front of Cuban’s own 9 million Twitter followers.

In just over two minutes in the setting of a globally broadcast press conference, the Greek Freak explained how he does not process “failure.” His brain computes performance, goals, and achievement. Failure is not part of his competitive world, getting closer to his goal is. In a previous interview, Giannis described the desperation he feels from the fear of losing everything he has achieved is his motivation. The NBA MVP ego part is great, but for him it’s about the feed your family, make your parents proud part. Wow! A star performer who is honest enough to share how desperation pushes his performance meter for fear of losing it all.

How can sellers and managers relate when most are focused on “make the month?” Let’s start here:

  • What motivates you? Is it the money, the challenge, the ego gratification of a job well done?
  • Are you the hardest working seller or manager in the organization? Do you still waste your time lobbying for an “E” for effort?
  • How do you process not winning the business? Failure or one step closer on the next opportunity?
  • Are you focused on improving an important aspect of your performance? Commitment to improving is mission critical to every aspiring star.

Next time your motivation meter is low, search for a most memorable 2-minute motivator courtesy of Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve Lappa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.