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Lessons from the Grid Iron

Last weekend I was afforded the opportunity to travel five hours from home so that I could go to Kansas City and watch my beloved Chiefs take on the Minnesota Vikings.  Say what you will about the KC Chiefs – I don’t care.  They’ve been up, they’ve been down – but through it all, I’ve been there to root them on and continue hanging on to the dream that one year they can pull it all together and go to the Big Dance.


We arrived about 1 hour early so we could soak in the atmosphere.  Going into the game the Chiefs record was a miserable 0-2.  This had occurred before, so the other fans around me were talking about how this was no big deal and that the Chiefs would turn it around and go 11-5 or better.  Of course, all of this talk went south halfway through the first quarter.  The home team wasn’t looking sharp, the key player, Larry Johnson, who everyeone is depending on for a great year, wasn’t running the ball well and the Chiefs trailed 10-0 at halftime.  The boos grew, the comments continued and if I didn’t know any better, I would swear I was no longer at Arrowhead Stadium but was instead surrounded by Raider Fans at the Black Hole.
The second half arrived and with perseverance and a revised game plan, the Chiefs pulled off their first win with a final score of 13-10.  All the naysayers were all of a sudden throwing their beers to the side so they could cheer the home team leaving the field.
Now, let’s pause for a moment and reflect – because I saw quite a few lessons to be learned that apply to work.  
  • The key player was having an off day and it took a team effort to win the game.  Isn’t that how it’s supposed to happen?  Dependence on the individual and not the team causes lackluster performances by all – lack of confidence, etc.  Having high expectations of your entire team lifts the team’s performance and keeps everyone on their toes.
  • Don’t give up.  Not every quarter – nor every day – will be a shiny or stellar day.  The crowd (or boss) will have reason to yell at you, fairly or unfairly.  When this happens, rise to the occasion and find that internal motivation to prove your worth your position within the organization.
  • Misery loves company.  When one person says anything negative, others love to join in and commiserate together.  RESIST THIS URGE.  Instead of talking about what’s wrong, do what you can to do make it right or better.  Seek to influence those things within your realm in a positive light.