Sports is a business. And what happens in sports gives us good examples for business. Here are some examples.
- The NFL took the high ground when Damar Hamlin had his medical episode during a game. They didn’t restart the game and they then postponed it. That’s respect for those playing in that game. Some things are bigger than a game. Your people are the business, respect and take care of them, especially when something (bad) happens to them.
- The LA Dodgers showed class by releasing Trevor Bauer, the 2020 Cy Young award winner accused by numerous women of sexual assault. The Dodgers will eat his over $20 million contract for 2023 and rid themselves of a cancer. Every client who’s had a problem employee says they wish they had got rid of him or her sooner. They worried about who would do the work, could they find someone as talented, and yet, getting rid of that person was a breath of fresh air and a weight off the backs of the other employees.
- Behind the scenes gossip will destroy morale. There’s an interesting story in the news about a very talented, young soccer play on the US National team who didn’t play much in the World Cup. Turns out the player’s parents were calling US Soccer (they had connections) to complain. Anybody who’s coached youth sports knows parents can be a bigger pain in the butt than the worst behaved kid. Backroom talk in a business can ruin culture. Don’t let it happen.
- Finally, your people (most of them) want to do good and work hard. The last week of the NFL season is a perfect example. Teams with nothing to play for played hard. The players are pros, they didn’t want to be seen as slackers, they played for future contracts, and pride. Heck, Houston scored in the last minute and thus lost the number one draft choice.
Taking care of your people, a great culture, cultivating a good work ethic leads to more productivity and a higher value for the business.
“Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.” Sam Rayburn