I Love Sports References in the Workplace


While everyone is talking about employee engagement and company culture, I would like to address the all-important use of sports references in the workplace. It’s what I know and what I love to do. Whether we like it or not, there are many parallels between the work place and sports. Both have teams, coaches, managers, strategy, rules, and role players, just to name a few. So if we want to get rid of the references, we got a lot of work to do. 

For example, have you ever been asked to find those “A players?” You have used every play in the book, but you have been striking out on your search. You have been thrown a few curve balls in the process by your hiring manager. Your boss has given you the two-minute warning before he calls on an outside search firm. Finally, you put on the full court press and, at the buzzer, you land that #1 draft pick. 

Or, you are the ultimate team player. You have mastered the blocking and tackling of your role and you are always called upon to lead off every major project. Each year, you are assigned the Super Bowl of all projects and you are part of the Dream Team. You never spend time in the penalty box and are always called upon on fourth down situations. When sacrifices are needed, you always take one for the team. You are cool in the pocket and know when to call a timeout when the going gets tough. 

These examples are obviously a little extreme, but I think you get my point. Whether we like them or not, our workplace is riddled with these references.

Do you use a sports reference without knowing it? What’s the big deal anyway? Think about your last presentation or interaction. How many sports references did you use? See, you really do love sports references. So, if you are against ridding the workplace of all sports references, I challenge you to go a full day in the work place without using one. If so, I’ll give you a trophy. 




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