If you’re a sports fan, you’ve likely seen or heard about the 9-year fan at the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat game. At the end of the game, the boy could be heard quite clearly (amidst the stadium silence) yelling “Good Job, Good Effort” to the Heat players as they entered the tunnel. Many Celtics fans took satisfaction in this (given the Celtics win) while others actually thought the boy was mocking the Heat players or being sarcastic. But as the boy says in this Sentinel interview, that is simply not true.
Start listening at about 0:13 into this video to hear the young fan shouting out his recognition.
It’s unfortunate (and I’m saying this as a Celtics fan), that people would choose to mock this child’s appreciation for his favorite players’ performance. Yes, they didn’t win. But during tough times, isn’t that when recognition and appreciation is needed the most? Recognition, when done right, rewards behaviors and performance that align with a company’s values. Sure, results matter, but even within temporary failures, there are things to learn from and build on. They become the foundations for future victories.
One of our clients was recently lacking product innovation. Employees were taking the safe route or the road already traveled. Business leaders knew that in order to take the company to the next level, they needed to take some risks. They also needed to prove to employees these risks were valued. To do this, they recognized and rewarded the product ideas and execution that were different from past approaches. They knew many of these ideas would fail but that didn’t matter. They wanted to recognize the right efforts. This new cultural mindset has already paid dividends, as they are seeing many new product ideas they think will transform their market.
The same could be said for sporting events. This young Heat fan was recognizing the players for their effort that game. Yes, the end result matters but sometimes it’s important to look at how people performed (especially when times are tough). By recognizing this, you are increasing the chances for a similar strong effort (and the odds of “Win” the next time around). It’s also important to remember that no matter someone’s title or level, everyone likes recognition.
All of this being said, I hope both teams show great effort for tonight’s Game 6. But in the end, let’s go Celtics!
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