The Game

I took my 8 year old daughter to a professional baseball game recently and am again reminded how everyday activities can be applied to business and professional thought. When I told her the morning of the game that we were going, she was excited and asked how much do baseball players make. To keep the conversation simple, I simply said about 10,000 USD per game. She looked at me and said, “Wow, that’s a lot,” then paused for a second and said “even if they lose?” In that moment, my only reply was, “yes they do… that doesn’t seem right, does it,” and she agreed. This little conversation is the inspiration for this week’s blog. Of course we all know that compensation for professionals, in sports and business, pays for the individual to perform specific tasks or complete various activities. The “understanding” is of course, if someone performs better than others, they can receive additional bonuses or incentives, or to better position themselves for a promotion or pay increase, or secure a spot on the starting team.

I would like everyone to think about this and how it applies to your job and career. We all know colleagues that just do enough to get by or others that try as hard as they can without accomplishing required activities. Just like the baseball team that constantly lose, they are still getting paid. I don’t want to focus on what will happen in the future, because as with time, all professionals will be affected negatively or positively on what they are doing now. Rather, I want us all to focus on our job and required activities today. Are you winning your “game” each and every day? Are you simply going through the motions to pick up a paycheck each month?

I want to challenge you to accomplish the following in your roles, starting from today.

  1. Are you completing every activity and task required by you each and every day? If no, make sure you start with this basic goal. This is what you are getting paid to do. Accomplishing these requirements daily put you in a position to win. In baseball terms, practice as if you were playing. If yes, is the quality of your work exceeding expectations? Is your work allowing others to benefit or helps the company succeed in some way? Ensure you not only complete all necessary tasks and activities, but you make sure that the quality exceeds expectations. No slacking off at practice!
  2. Are you giving more? I know several people that have senior titles and responsibilities that do the job they are paid to do, but nothing more. I call these the relief pitchers. Sitting around watching others until they are called in at the last minute to produce some work for a short period of time. Ensure that you are always looking to offer more, deliver more or to overcome challenges, improve productivity and to be efficient. Be the starting pitcher and finish the game!

Yes all professional baseball players get paid if they are on the starting line up or not. Yes, they get paid if they win or lose. The difference is with continuous hard work and sacrifice, not only will baseball players ensure a longer career and more significant wins and benefits, you too will hit that home run growing your career… and ensure you are always on the starting team!

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