Job Satisfaction and Affirmation

With the beginning of training camp I am reminded of the precarious nature of life in the NFL.  There are so few spots for so many players.  I recall one high draft pick who was a star in Division 2.  He never played much for the Jets and he was always complaining that the coaches were out to get him and that they did not like him.  I never understood this.  His coaches wanted him to do well out of self interest.  If he played well, they would look good.  They didn’t want him to fail because when he failed, it would look bad for the coaches and team executives.

He just was never satisfied.  He was very sensitive to criticism.  Don’t try to play in the NFL with thin skin!  As his short career in New York continued, he became more dissatisfied with his treatment.  He was the type of person who needed to be affirmed and valued constantly and the NFL is not a place of mutual care and concern.  It is a highly competitive business.  The coaches would have been better served to understand the personal needs of this player.  He was extremely talented and widely regarded coming out of college and could have helped the team win more games.

The lesson to be learned here is to understand your subordinates.  Take time to get to know each one personally.  The more they believe you care about them personally, the better workers they will be.  If they believe that you care, then they will be less likely to look for other employment and will have lower rates of absenteeism.  They will be more productive.  Support your employees and they will support you.  Treat your employees like you would all important stakeholders.  They are an extension of your leadership.

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