The most important often get forgotten
This week the English Premier League (EPL) will begin its new season. This is a twenty-team competition where each team will play 38 matches. One of the title contenders, Liverpool, will not only battle it out to win the EPL – they will be competing for seven different trophies. This includes all sorts of world and inter-national cups as well as local ones. The schedule for most teams will be hectic.
In isolation, asking overpaid professionals to run around after a ball for 40-odd weeks does not seem a big deal. It is when we understand that these guys also play World Cups and Continental International Competitions during their summer break that we start to understand that a lot of the players only get a week or two break every year.
With such an intense schedule injury, mental fatigue, and performance-drop-off are all more probable. A recent FIFPro report said the health of top players is at risk without “mandatory four week off-season breaks”.
I feel that this is seen in a lot of workplaces. The people that are central to making a business tick are often overloaded with extra responsibility, tasks, and deadlines. It breeds a terrible mentality of ‘don’t do things too well, otherwise they’ll get you to do more of it!’
Or, in the thirst to please clients, we can find ourselves promising extra value with little consideration for the people that will need to push to deliver on such promises.
In football (or soccer), it is clear that the players are the product. They are the equity that all other stakeholders rely on. Too often, the players are forgotten in key decisions, and it will hurt the whole product and commercial partnerships in the end.
This inspired me to ask; do we forget about our players? Are we listening to them? Is anyone overloaded and about to break? And what will the consequence be if they disengage, or worse – get hurt?
Richard Branson famously said, “if you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple”.
The elite staff, the hardest working team players, the quiet achieving middle managers, and the reliable workhorses. Let’s be sure not to forget them. Check in with them. Review their workflows. Find support for them where we can. Because they are our stars.
They are most important.