The Big Game 2021: What We Can Learn From The GOAT
Just a couple of days more until we can celebrate the most-watched television event of the year again on February 7th, 2021.
It does not matter whether you are a fan of American Football or not: The Big Game has become an institution also far beyond the US borders for millions of people - an event we can enjoy as families even during the Corona time.
I will be watching the game too, and for me, with the abroad view on the game, the most dazzling player is the GOAT - Tom Brady. I can now unveil that this post is not about football per se, but about what we can learn as Customer Support Professionals from the Greatest Of All Time.
If you are not entirely into American Football, let me give you a quick summary: Tom Brady is maybe the best-known American Football player worldwide. The 44-year old Quarterback won the Big Game six times in his career with the New England Patriots. He has not only been record-breaking successful, but he is also looking back to a long, long career starting in 2000 - this is 21 years ago.
And within the next couple of days, he'll start another attempt to secure his 7th ring - this time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
You don't have to be (drafted) number one to become number one
Tom Brady was not always the GOAT. He became it.
He was literally far away from being number one in the first place. Fact is, he was only selected as pick number 199 in the sixth round of the draft in April 2000. While this does not sound like the optimal beginning of an astonishing career, it was.
What can we learn from this?
Generally speaking: A career is not written in stone at its beginning. If you are struggling on the job on your first try: Try again and work on achieving your goals. Focus on your skills and your strengths, and do not give up. Training and learning might be your key to success. Talk to your colleagues and manager to better understand the technical part and talk to your customers to better communicate.
Also, Brady worked hard to become better and better every day. He overcame throwbacks like failures and injuries and got stronger with every try. He made mistakes, but he learned from them, and now he is 44 years old and leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to this giant opportunity.
Besides not giving up, we can learn that we can become the best in class even if we are far away from it now.
Only a team can win the Big Game - not one person alone
Tom Brady did not win the rings alone - independently from how good he is as a player. He won it together with his team—every single time. One person can only be as successful as the whole team, and a quarterback can't throw a single ball without the guys protecting him from being tackled.
But doesn't it sound like something we know from regular businesses and real-life too? So what else can we learn from Tom?
Like in any team, you need a great spirit and people working together on a shared goal. Be it winning a giant trophy or providing outstanding Customer Support.
You need to find motivated people working together and make sure everyone understands that every person is critical for the overall success. All parts of the puzzle are equally important, and there is no "better" or "more important".
Some strive when focusing on tricky and unusual problems they can resolve, while others prefer purely working on Linux topics, yet others prefer to reduce the backlog. Together, they fix any customer issue and complement each other to achieve the best possible result and succeed mutually.
And if you are lucky, you have at least one person who makes sure that all understand that it takes all of us to be successful.
Love what you do and do what you love
I doubt that you can become and stay best in class for 21 years if you do not love what you do.
And if you don't do what you love, why should you even bother to become the GOAT?
My guess is that Tom Brady loves playing football - and there are so many people out there who love their jobs as well. I know that because I am one of them.
Do not get me wrong: It's 100% ok to have a job to pay your rent. But if possible, try to find the job made for you. Or try to find a niche within your job where you can uncover your full potential and strive.
Let's check out a few examples:
If you are in Customer Support and love talking to people, make sure to get a spot on the telephone rather than sorting tickets.
If you love spending time on Social Media, make sure to join the Social Support teams to spread your knowledge across all Social Media Channels
If you are a beast in making detailed descriptions, check with your manager whether there might be an open position for you in writing technical documentation.
If you are passionate about other languages like Spanish, would it maybe be possible to join the Spanish Support team and polish your language skills?
Not everyone can and wants to be a superstar on television, but all of us can become superstars in the field of our profession.
Thanks, Tom Brady, for inspiring us, and GO BUCS! All the best for Sunday!