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Lessons Learned at the College World Series

By Joey Havens

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A few weeks ago, my family and I went to the College World Series. As I reflect on my trip to Omaha, NE, I am grateful I was able to experience this phenomenal sporting event and be part of a firm that embraces fearless unrivaled flexibility, which allowed me to make the trip. 

The CWS has been on my bucket list for a long time. I love college athletics especially football, basketball and baseball.  Since my favorite team (Ole Miss) waited 42 years to make another CWS appearance, I had almost decided that I would just have to pick a year and plan a trip. Truth is, I have had to cancel flight plans and CWS tickets three times in the last 10 years as the Rebels kept falling one game short. This year my wife would not let me “jinx” us by booking anything in advance. This year, I finally made it to Omaha (she was right again)! I want to share a few insights that I had from that experience. 

First, how weird is it that one of the things I was working on the same week as the CWS was training sessions for HORNE’s partners and managers to enable us to take our Fearless Unrivaled Flexibility philosophy into “how” we work every day? It is because of that flexibility philosophy that I was able to experience one of my childhood dreams. 

Several team members helped me coordinate so I could meet my commitments while enjoying my flexibility. It’s great being part of a firm where we want to support each other in our shared mission. That’s what great teams do. I realize this is a privilege, and I am thankful to everyone on the team. 

Second, passion for the game and the competition was evident in each team at the CWS. Teams that make it to this level of competition display an unrivaled level of passion for the game that is clearly evident in everything they do. It reminded me how important it is that we have a similar passion for our mission and our vision. Sharing our positive energy and passion with each other provides each of us the atmosphere for new opportunities and joy that will make us unrivaled. Do your team members really know your personal level of passion and energy? Are you sharing your energy with everyone? Is your energy contagious? 

Third, I was reminded that uncommon discipline is a key component of team success at this level. Players must know both their role and the overall game plan. They come out and compete with an uncommon discipline that you do not see in most teams. They know what they do well, and they use the discipline to bring those strengths to each game. Potential does not win games. However, executing a game plan with discipline often delivers a better outcome. It confirmed for me that HORNE is on the right journey with our focus and uncommon discipline to play to our strengths. The uncommon discipline of building a diverse team that allows our diverse strengths and ideas to come together as one team with one direction. Uncommon discipline will make teams unrivaled and provide growth that others can only wish for. 

Lastly, I was struck by a sign that TCU had posted in their dugout. It really resonated with me. The sign read “Get To vs. Have To.” So often we speak in terms of having to do something when it’s actually a blessing that we get to do those things. Many people would love the opportunity to do some of the things we “have to” do. I know personally, I “get to” serve, guide and work as part of the HORNE team. I’m grateful today, and every day, to be part of something special, a Wise Firm, with a team that pursues greatness in a culture of belonging that embraces fearless unrivaled flexibility. So what about you? What do you “get to” do today?