Being a die-hard fan of a sports team has its ups and downs. When someone has something bad to say about your team, their performance or an individual player, it gets to you. Something crawls under your skin and fuels this fire to prove your team is better than what they say.

I am no stranger to this being from Chicago and living in DC. I am that loyal Bears and Cubs fan, despite our endless inability to rightfully earn a title or sign promising athletes. What I wouldn’t give to finally break that 106-year streak of not making it to the World Series, or go to the Super Bowl and win for the first time in 30 years.

Loyalty has many definitions. Whether it’s for a sports team, your beliefs, your goals and dreams, you’ll do anything to keep them alive. There’s also a sense of loyalty to yourself and who you are as a person, in a team, as a leader, or as an individual contributor. You want to do your best and be the best all the time, but you can’t do this until you realize you are your own team, you have loyalty to yourself.  No one is perfect; in order to get better you have to admit the flaws in your roster.

It’s like adding and taking away from your team roster, benching skills at the right time, playing the right ones for the situation and developing the play. Skills will either benefit you in the long run, or they may need time to develop into your ultimate Quarterback skill or your Defensive End when you need it most. And ESPN is your review, professional development plan, or time with your supervisor. It’s about finding your gaps, not extenuating your weaknesses. What you bring to the table has the ability to propel you, honing your contributions and elevating you to be a valuable asset for your organization.

The first step to improving is admitting and understanding your weaknesses, taking care to refrain from embellishing or boasting. Take the time to do some retrospection and create a plan for yourself. It’s about observing and applying knowledge to make your roster the best for success.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do you see yourself in your current role/company? 
  • Where are others achieving that you may not see as much success? 
  • What resources exist to help me improve? (Consider books, courses, and certifications). 
  • Where do you personal interests lie? Do they have skills that can help you in the  workplace?

I am fortunate to work in very nurturing environment that fosters professional development through mentorship and personal achievement.  I find myself asking our CEO and my direct manager for reading material suggestions or courses I may find useful. Asking is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you are motivated and invested in making a difference not only with your individual development but your contributions to your company.

Be your own coach, but be coachable. Learn from others around you, their tactics and strategies, and what makes certain people more successful than others. Draw your own play to success, dodge the defense and score that ultimate goal or dream.

Until next time, stay classy.

AuthorSara Rowe