Do ______ & Your Team Will Always Win

Hello SCG,

today’s shipment will be accompanied with a personal story, which has happened to me almost 18 years ago. (Whoah! Is it already 18 years?!) Once upon a time in May 1993, when I was at the start of my basketball career -> our team was taking part at our first big international tournament in Krakow – Poland. Apart from the fact, that we have made it all the way to the finals (out of 24 teams) – I did not know, that already at the age of 11,  I was about to receive one of the most important lesson on leadership in my life.

On 23rd May 1993 – we played our big finale game. I believed we will win, because we were going through tournament without losing any game plus date (23.05.) was very favorable according to my secret interpretation -> 23 was number of Michael Jordan & number 5 as my number 😉 -> how many more affirmations could one need, right?

Sadly, my “superstitious witchcraft” did not work:-) & we lost in a very tight game against team from Poland, whose all players were one year senior to us (Note: in youth teams one year difference can mean loads of advancement).

Lesson on _____ arrived during a closing ceremony.

Moderator of the ceremony was obviously speaking in Polish language (which is with some difficulties understandable for us Slovaks) & he was calling out captains of the teams to get trophies on team’s behalf – at least we thought so that was the case. So, our captain, my teammate went to the stage with intention to pick up team’s cup – but instead she happened to stand among All Star Team, which consisted out of top 5 players – elected by all coaches.

So, what? Let me get to the point – just carry on reading.

Lesson was delivered to me on the way home.

When we* were walking home (*we stands for me & my Dad, because my Dad was accompanying me on every game ever since I have started playing basketball. God bless him!) He told me something, which brought tears into my eyes instantly:

“You know, you were elected to be in the All Starts Team not the captain, she just went to pick it up accidentally, but I have told coach to let it be & let her keep the award & prices.”

I was devastated, I cried in streams. I cried, because I wanted to have precious MJ book, I cried because I felt it is unfair, that someone else got the glory. I cried, because I knew I was practicing whole summer on the court in front of our house, when rest of the girls were having holidays.

Then my Dad, told me:

“I know it hurts, but remember important is that whole team played very good at the tournament. And also remember, that your skills cannot be taken away from you or enhanced with or without any award.”

Next day, when I came to school (our team was in the same class, too) and I was witnessing congratulations & admiration to my playmate, I was sitting in silence in the corner & repeating my Dad’s words:

“Our team played well & that matters. How I play & who I am is not linked to any awards.”

Secret of making your team always a winning one is:

Do NOT care who gets credit & your team will always win.

=> Let go off taking credit for a win or a score or a success of a project, give your heart to the team & always give your utmost best. Getting this mindset into my system at such young age, got me where I have got in basketball (and perhaps not only in it). Pass the ball* & your team will always win.

(*Note: Ever since I was leading statistics  in assists per game.)


Don’t get fooled by those who get a prize.

Next time be cautious when you will be part of glorious fanfares & celebrations of someone, maybe, just maybe the one who has done most of the work is sitting in silence behind the scene – practicing mantra of the most important lesson of leadership in her mind:

“It does not matter who gets the credit, it is important that we have done remarkable job.”

P.S.: It is a first time that this  story left borders of our family’s household;-)



What about you? Are you surrounded by “passers of the balls?” How dependent are you on recognition with your efforts by authorities? Are you frustrated/angry when others take the cream from your hard work? How do you deal with it?

Ball is on your court now -> Waiting for your comments 😉



  1. Amazing story! Thanks a lot for sharing!

    I could imagine I would be really sad having experienced what you did. Despite always saying I am an introvert, I probably like taking credit for ‘good results’ and being the “go to” guy. Your article is sort of eye-opener for me. I read something quite similar by Ed Dale few days back. The headline went: “You can never win without a team”. It must be true… Never ever in history there was a single person who would achieve anything (not anything great. just “anything”) without help of their peers.

    Thank you again for great post.

    P.S. What about sending it to Russian ice-hockey players? 🙂

    • Ahoj Andrej!
      Thanks for your 1st comment on #IS -> welcome to our Super Cool Gang!;-)
      Oh, yes -> no one has ever done it alone. We all need helping hand, mentors, inspiration & friends around us – when we want to make our ideas happen or accomplish work – worth remarking;-)

      My mantra is: learn from the best, work with the best, work for the best 😉

      That is how I roll.

      Thanks again for liking this shipment.

      See you around here or again face to face one day;-)



  2. Thanks for sharing something so personal and with such a powerful insight.

    As a kid I used to volunteer for a club run by the elder brothers of my friends. The club was engaged in community service and organizing cultural events. We (the gang of kids) used to do the work and get no credit. I recall enjoying the work and never thinking about credit. As I grew up desire to take the credit also grew. There was nobody who told me “not to worry about who gets the prize”. So desire to get the credit was there on more than one occasions. But as time passed by I learnt my lessons and really believe that “it does not matter who gets the prize”.

    Appreciate this reminder is such a heartfelt manner.

    • Aw, thank you Mohit! Your appreciation means a lot to me!

      Thank you for sharing your story too.
      I can relate with your growing & shrinking need of recognition very well.
      I believe I am in shrinking mode now;-)
      If you will witness me doing otherwise, please kick my butt!

      See you around 2.0 my dear Domino Team-mate & I trust that our paths will cross in real life, too.


  3. Katarina Javorcikova says:

    Iva, thank you for this story!

    It opened me eyes.

    I have realized, that I am – mostly time – the person, who is sitting behide the scene. I always dreamed to be appreciatate for my work and contribution.
    Now, after one year team experience I consider it differently.
    When my functional term in communication area started, I sad to myself: “I will be the best vicepresident for communication from a team of 7 people from different cities in Slovakia. I was nominated for the prize. At the conference where was the best vicepresident awarded, I was standing in front of whole plenary 100% sure that the price wouldn´t be given to me. And I was SATISFIED and happy that I am NOT THE BEST and NOT ON THE SCENE!


    I was happy that I did everything to support our team and another areas, which were week. I had to devide work in two areas to put our organization on the feet. I invested my time and one part of my ambition “to be the best individual” to achieve that we were the best team and local organization amongst 7 others. And we did! We were awarded as the most progressive entity. At the end we got the prize!


    • Whoa! What a wonderful story, Katka!;-)
      Thank you for sharing it.
      It is always great to realize, that you have practical wisdom by reflecting on own life experiences -> brilliant.
      Keep on working in such spirit (even tough sometimes it is not easy & it hurts to be unseen), but eventually life will bring all those pieces together one day & you will see clearly the meaning of all tough situations from past.

      And welcome to Super Cool Gang!
      See you.

    • Katarina you’re another example. Awesome!

  4. > your skills cannot be taken away from you
    So true and so worth it.

  5. Hey Ivana:-)
    thanks for sharing that lovely personal story with deep meaning.
    I have read alot of blogs but none comes close to yours in terms of being practical and real. WOW!!!!!!!!
    Keep up the good job.

    As for answering your question,i tend to get uneasy when i am credited for doing something so its easier for me to pass it on and let someone else get the praise(which i think helps)because as your wise father said “Our team played well & that matters. How I play & who I am is not linked to any awards.”

    Earlier my performance drive was inclined to if and how the authorities will recognize my efforts but this has now changed for the better coz of having read your mantra -“It does not matter who gets the credit, it is important that we have done remarkable job.”

    many thanks Ivana!!

    • Aw, so great to see you commenting again here on #IS.
      I am so happy, that this shipment has resonated with you & that you can transform its impact into your daily life.
      That is the most precious gift to anyone who ship, something -> to inspire others to act differently!
      Thank for that my friend!

  6. aloha Ivana, 🙂
    nice story. However, telling myself “it doesn’t matter whether I will be awarded or not for my hard work” and real feeling and thinking that way are 2 different things. If you really feel and think that way then you have my congratulations and admiration. 🙂 I have to do a lot of job to improve this since I am part of several teams. 🙂

    • ahoj Radko!!
      welcome to #IS and to our Super Cool Gang! Yay;-)
      believe me it is a hard work to be content with what one say – do – think => but that is the only way how I am willing to live – in harmony & happiness;-)
      it requires loads of awareness & conscious self-reflection, but it is worth it;-)
      happy journey.

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