There’s an old adage about being fortunate: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Roy Helu proved that saying accurate this past week, when the third-year reserve running back made the most of a fluke chance in the fourth quarter of the Redskins’ preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Helu, who started in the Redskins’ preseason opener, registered his first carry in the waning moments of Washington’s most recent preseason win. A veteran roster-lock, Helu did not need to be on the field as the Redskins put the finishing touches on a runaway exhibition win.
The circumstances of the game forced Helu back into action, a couple quarters after he thought his night had ended. Two running backs had left with injuries and another two were unavailable to play. In a pinch, Washington’s coaching staff turned their attention back to Helu – a former starter who was willing to trot out onto the field for a late-game cameo.
With 3:28 remaining on the clock and the Redskins facing a 3rd-and-3 from Pittsburgh’s 30 yard-line, Helu checked into the game and lined up in the backfield. Quarterback, Pat White, took a shotgun snap out of the pistol formation before giving it to Helu on a read-option carry. Helu burst through Washington’s offensive line and sprinted all the way to the end zone, extending the Redskins’ lead to 11 points and sealing the team’s second straight win.
He wasn’t lucky. He was prepared when he got an opportunity – committing a Pivotal Play that we can all learn from as it pertains to making the most of whatever chances we get in our work environment.
Written by Grant Paulsen:
Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan is doing something that business executives in all professions struggle with constantly. He’s doing what is right for the company he’s leading – not what is most popular for his organization.
Three weeks into his fourth training camp, Shanahan is dealing with the most analyzed and scrutinized saga during his time in Washington. Second-year quarterback Robert Griffin – one of the NFL’s most revered talents – is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last January. Griffin wants to practice with his teammates, and not surprisingly Washington’s fan base is clamoring to see more of the reigning NFL rookie of the year at the team’s training facility in Richmond. But Shanahan isn’t allowing outside pressure to influence an important decision.
Shanahan didn’t allow Griffin to participate in 11-on-11, team drills until his team’s 15th day of practices. Griffin has pleaded with his coach for an increased workload through the media, but Shanahan has stuck to a plan that he and doctors believe will help Griffin make a full recovery.
Now, however, Griffin is being used in portions of practice that he wasn’t able previously.
Although Shanahan has been vilified by many outlets for the decision, he didn’t cave. Time will tell if Shanahan’s plan for Griffin was the right one, but his persistence is admirable enough to help him receive this week’s Pivotal Play.
Written by Grant Paulsen:
Redskins’ cornerback Chase Minnifield turned in this week’s Pivotal Play. After two straight years of battling incessant adversity, the 23 year-old played in an NFL game for the first time in 20 months on Thursday night.
Minnifield suffered a severe knee injury in 2011 that resulted in the former University of Virginia star needing a serious microfracture surgical repair. Despite some NFL clubs fearing that the 185-pound defender would never be the same, Minnifield rehabbed diligently enough to capture the Redskins’ attention last spring.
The Kentucky-native starred during the team’s offseason program and organized team activities. But just as Minnifield was getting high praise and being considered a possibility to make Washington’s roster, he tore his ACL.
It would have been easy for Minnifield to become depressed and worry about his future. Instead the second-year cornerback continued to overcome the odds. Once considered a mid-round pick before going undrafted because of being deemed a health risk, Minnifield possesses the attributes that any company should look for in an employee. He’s motivated and refuses to allow misfortune to alter his goals.
Minnifield’s first game action in nearly two years couldn’t have gone much better on Thursday. He made three tackles and defended a pass while making a major statement in his quest to land a spot on the Redskins’ 53-man roster. His stellar showing was an enjoyable chapter in the comeback story he’s authoring, and his strong performance in the wake of two lengthy knee rehabs is this week’s Pivotal Play.
The dental supply business has always relied on sending sales representatives to dental offices for taking orders. This traditional method has never really been challenged, until now.
At the young age of 21, David Charnowitz founded DC Dental with the mission of shaking up this traditional business model. The company built its foundation on the combination of telesales, e-commerce, as well as enhancing face-to-face relationships with dentists.
When the company started, he initially rented 800 square feet of office space and hooked up the telephone wiring himself to save a few dollars. As the business began to grow, he then found an accountant and an attorney through businesses in the same office building.
To help get past the front desk at dentist offices, Charnowitz partnered with service technicians who would fix equipment, and sell his dental supplies at the same time.
Ten years later, the company has 100 employees and nearly $40 million in revenues, by selling supplies to dentists throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
In addition, DC Dental also sponsors education seminars at its showroom and training center where dentists can obtain professional accreditation, which helps enhance personal relationships with his clients. This effort is part of his strategy of enhancing revenue from existing clients, as opposed to continually adding new dentists to his roster.
For having the foresight to change the dental supply business, resulting in a multi-million dollar company that he founded at the age of 21, Charnowitz is this week’s Pivotal Player.
Written by Grant Paulsen:
In business and in sports, the best way to determine what you are made of is to experience adversity. A preseason favorite to represent the National League in the World Series, the Washington Nationals (52-56) finished July eleven games out of first place and 7.5 games off the wild card pace. In the wake of a 10-run loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, they had hit rock bottom and that’s when the Nationals found true leadership.
Bryce Harper, who spoke up after Washington’s most recent loss to demand that his team needed to play with more heart, and remain together, turned in this week’s Pivotal Play. The 20 year-old showed the savvy of a 10-year veteran, accentuating the Nationals’ nine remaining games with first-place Atlanta while stating that the club’s season is not over.
It would have been very easy for Harper to begin to accept that his team is having a bad year. But he isn’t willing to do that. Rather, he is responding to a rough stretch with the type of character that winning organizations in sports and businesses need to succeed. How are you going to respond to adversity? How will you react when something goes horribly wrong within your workplace? Harper decided he was going to lead, first vocally and then with his actions.
The second-year superstar turned in this week’s Pivotal Play by displaying the type of will that it takes to overcome difficulty. Now we’ll see just how much of an impact his motivational pep-talk has on the performance of his colleagues.