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Every Saturday I salute someone or a group that deserves a little extra attention for his or her good deeds, super branding, achievements, creative solutions, witty comments or meaningful acts of customer love.

This week my hat goes off to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Come back kids

Yes, my hometown baseball team scored big this last week with not only clinching the American League East’s Wildcard spot, their pass to the playoffs, but for inspiring many, including me, that if you believe, you can achieve!!

Entering into September the Rays were 9 games behind the Boston Red Sox and their chances of post-season play were slim. The month proved to be an astounding example of how having a one game at a time mentality, strong leadership and resiliency can produce results and make history.

By the end of the month they had earned their way back as a true playoff contender. Neck to neck with the Boston Red Sox who had dominated a top spot in the division for months, the Rays came back in a final showdown game against the New York Yankees (the #1 team) from a 0-7 deficit and pulled off the biggest comeback (beating the Yankees 8, 7, while Boston lost to the Orioles in the 9th inning) in Baseball history.

Lessons for all entrepreneurs from this stellar week and the Tampa Bay Ray’s amazing performance.

1) Don’t give up.
No matter how grim it looks. If there’s a will there is a way.

2) Stay loose and love what you do.
The Rays and coaches often speak in interviews of the great fun they have playing the game and how a mindset of being loose, calm and relaxed goes a long way.

3) Leadership really matters.
I met Joe Maddon in 2006 shortly after he joined the team. We were both at Sideburns, a local Tampa restaurant. No one knew him then and we talked for 20 minutes. My immediate impression was this was a poised, cool guy, a strategic thinker who had a very empowering personality. My instincts were on the money. Joe is a first-class leader for the Rays. Even after brutal defeats, he is always positive and praises the guys for the good they did that night. He’s no spring chicken, but projects a very genuine, contemporary, hip style so everyone relates to him from the veteran fans to the youngest players.

No one really know where all this will take the Rays as they enter a tough field of competition to the World Series.

No matter what happens, you can’t help but love this team, their dedication and stamina and salute them today!!

Go Rays!! Good Luck!!