I am proud Nashville native; seems like we are outnumbered these days!  Having lived in or near Nashville for almost 2/3 of my life, I am so proud of our growing and dynamic city and region.

During the past 60 or so days, Middle Tennessee witnessed unparalled unity and extreme passion exhibited by our growing SMASHVILLE fan base.  As a first-time season ticket holder that became “hooked” after last year’s triple overtime victory against the San Jose Sharks, I was very excited to be a small part of this two-month sprint known as the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Some business takeaways from this glorious playoff run follow an appropriate acronym:  P.R.E.D.S.

Persistence – in my 18 years of experience in the business world, this trait will set you apart from your competition.  The Predators were the #8 seed in the Western Conference entering the playoffs; overall, #16 in the post-season bracket.  Well, due to grit, teamwork and a game-by-game focus, the Predators surprised many across the US and in the hockey world with their effort and hustle.  In our business pursuits, it is important to focus daily on the big items.  We need to also be diligent in those reoccurring and sometimes mundane tasks and projects.

Resilience – Merriam-Webster’s definition: “[the] ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”  I would propose that this trait set the Predators apart from everyone in the playoffs, to include the Penguins.  Whether injuries to Kevin Fiala, Mike Fisher (team captain) or Ryan Johansen, Coach Laviolette’s team rallied together and almost seemed to thrive in the face of adversity.  Many of you have heard the phrase: “business is a contact sport.”  Simply stated, things do not always work out as planned in the business world; if you are a leader, are you coaching your teammates on how to respond and overcome challenges?

Excellence – Most experts called for the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks entering the playoffs to steamroll the Predators.  I am almost certain no one expected a sweep (especially by the Predators).  The team pulled together in every facet of the game to defeat a great team; one that had captured three of the previous six Stanley Cups.  In the business world, we must leverage our strengths to be great; lots of competition, whether locally or around the globe.

Defense – In sports, they say that “defense wins championships.”  I have also heard the phrase that “the best offense if a good defense” mentioned in military circles and on the fields of friendly strife. Well, the Nashville Predators thrived when their defense (both Pekka Rinne, our world-class goaltender) and our top four defensemen (Subban, Josi, Ellis and Elkholm) were playing their game.  The few games where we struggled, we allowed the opposition to dictate the pace or type of play.  The Preds fell 2 games short of winning the Stanley Cup; my gut tells me they will be at least one time over the next 2 seasons and their “offensive-minded defense” will be in the thick of this season-long pursuit totaling 100+ games.  I would encourage you to defend your key players – always be thinking about increasing engagement to drive long-term retention on your team.

Success – Over the past century, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has had over 50 changes to this benchmark index of America’s most successful companies.  The successful companies of today are not guaranteed good fortune five years into the future, let alone multiple decades.  In fact, about 10 years ago, the Predators came close to relocating to Hamilton, Canada.  While the Predators did not enjoy sustained success during the regular season, they worked tirelessly to record 14 victories out of 22 played during their spectacular playoff run.  I am predicting a better regular season record next year, to include having home ice advantage during at least two playoff series in the spring of 2018.

Just over a week ago, we saw the defeat of our Nashville Predators.  I am now fully recovered from the emotional roller coaster!  With hockey’s training camp less than three months away, may we think P.R.E.D.S. in our daily business dealings.  Enjoy your summer and hope to see you at Bridgestone Arena later this year!

– Martin Plumlee is the Owner and Chief Growth Officer for Plumlee & Associates (www.plumleeassociates.com), a Career Partners International Firm based in Nashville & Franklin TN.  For almost 18 years, he has been a highly successful Sales Manager, Executive Recruiter and Leadership Consultant.  Outside of business, he loves to serve as a husband, father, community leader and Citizen-Soldier.   Martin currently serves in the Army Reserves in Nashville TN; he has served with distinction on both  Active Duty and in the Reserves for over 14 years.  He is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and earned an MBA in International Business from Tennessee Technological University.  Please connect with him on LinkedIn and follow his firm on Twitter (@PlumleeAssoc).