Performing for the Fans

Hi, I’m Rick Sessinghaus. I’m a huge sports fan, So throughout the years, I had my favorite baseball, footballer, basketball teams. And I find it, actually as I get older, very funny now to look at fans. What are fans? It’s short for fanatics. And why I say that I think I find it funny is a couple of years ago there was a big college football program that changed coaches.

And that coach started off extremely well. And the whole fan base was all excited, “Yes, we’ve found our guy and we’re going to get to the national championship,” and “We’ve got the culture back.” So on and so forth. Well, guess what? He lost a big game, kind of embarrassingly, and then those same fans the next time on social media said, “You’ve got to get him out of here. Oh my gosh, this is the worst thing ever.”

So I’m going huh, that’s interesting. And I was thinking about what would happen if you, at work, had fans that every day they’re either going to boo you or they’re going to cheer you. Would you show up to work differently? Would your standards change at all? Because I think in the sports world they’re delusional, right, every day it’s “Fire him,” “Hire him.” It’s back and forth, it’s so emotional. And if we base our decisions on emotions, we’re going to make a lot of mistakes.

And so what I’m saying about this is that if you did have fans, not people you worked with, but outside of people who now were judging you every single day, would you do things differently? Would you hold yourself more accountable? It kind of sounds unfair, doesn’t it? Yet, we are completely unfair to all of these sports and all of these coaches, and all these players, because “Oh, they make so much money, they have such a high standard, we should hold them to it.” I think it’s kind of unfair, because then when it’s turned around on somebody else, where they’re trying to hold you accountable or hold me accountable, we then call it bullying, right?

“Oh my gosh, they said something bad about me.” And so where I’m going with this, with performance, is either we have to raise our own standards to those that we actually judge, or we have to lower expectations of others. It’s probably a little bit of both, isn’t it?

So as you’re looking at your own performance, what are the standards you’re holding to yourself? And are those standards higher than the fans out there? And if they are, I think we’re fine. The problem is when other people’s standard is above our own, that we have some conflict and we feel like we’re getting picked on. But the other part is, are we picking on people that don’t deserve that, to be picked on?

So this is about accountability. It’s are you accountable for your own actions, accountable for your own results? And would that change if more people knew what you did on a day to day basis? And I think that’s the challenge that we have now with social media is that we’re getting picked apart a lot when people make these judgments. And yet, if you have your own standards that are high and you set those and you strive for that, then some of that other stuff just doesn’t matter anymore.

So, let’s not be fanatical about this. Let’s be fair and let’s be accountable for our own actions, and then we can perform for success.

 

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