Learning from Losing

No matter how deep the Philadelphia 76ers go in this season's NBA playoffs, it's clear the days of interminable losing streaks are over and the future is bright.  I loved this article in ESPN about how a winning attitude was developed through intentional investment in team culture.  Interestingly and importantly, that winning culture was cultivating during and through all of the losing.  Here's a key excerpt:

While they were losing 253 games over a four-year span, skeptics bemoaned that an unintended consequence of the organization's rebuilding strategy would be the entrenchment of a losing culture. Yet today's Sixers insist that what the outside world saw as an abject, overmatched unit was a team that -- well aware of its limitations on the court -- focused its attention on cultivating the mindset of a winner off it.

"All of that was a time of learning, a time of progression, a time of really seeing the type of person you can become when you endure hard time," says Covington, who started 165 games for the Sixers during the lean years. "That journey made us who we are. The 18-win season, the 10-win season. All that, it built us up for this moment."

We in Philly are reveling in the mantra, "Trust the Process," but think about what that entailed.  A lot of losing, a lot of experimenting, a lot of hardship.  And a lot of trust that all that losing, experimenting, and hardship could in fact forge a culture that would lead to winning.  It isn't at all intuitive.  But it is working.  There's a life lesson in here, if you're willing to learn it.  Not many are.  Thankfully for the city of Philadelphia, these young 76ers have been.

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