New England is watching their beloved Boston Red Sox fall to a level of organizational failure not seen in quite a while. Players pitted against teammates, players forming factions against their manager, players not seeing the need to give any effort – every other day gives fans a new example of the reported mutiny in the dugout.
Whether these allegations and incidents are true or exaggerated, they can provide everyone with some key life and career lessons. Like the higher education administrator and student affairs professional that I am, I had to write a blog post with those lessons. Read on, so you don’t make the same mistakes the Red Sox did.
If you have a problem with your supervisor, address it with management appropriately.
Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday afternoon that Adrian Gonzalez text messaged Red Sox brass to tell them that he and others had issues with manager Bobby Valentine. The text ended up being the impetus for a meeting between the disgruntled players and management.
Text messaging is a useful form of communication. But when it comes to business, text message is not the most appropriate medium in which to tell your management that you are having severe issues with your supervisor. Discreet conversations initiated by a more personal medium – such as in person, or if you are away, on the phone – are a far better way to lodge such a complaint. Older generations (who are usually the ones in management roles) don’t view text messages with them same validity as other forms of conversation, because they can be sent without much thought.
How about we don’t take photos we wouldn’t want other people to see?
In that same Yahoo! Sports article, second baseman Dustin Pedroia allegedly took a photo mocking a napping Bobby Valentine and made a snide remark about his napping habits, which was texted among players. Now that the possible existence of such a photo has made it to the media, Pedroia has backtracked and claims it never existed.
What happened to Pedroia happens to thousands of Americans every day. You don’t possibly know where that photo of you faux-stripping/completely trashed/hanging off someone’s arm you aren’t supposed to be/making a politically incorrect joke came from! But you posed for the photo, and you texted it to your friends. So yes, you do know where it came from.
How about we, collectively, as a populace, decide that taking photos that could be used against you probably isn’t a good idea? Dustin Pedroia can be our spokesperson. Don’t take photos you don’t want to come back to haunt you. Easy enough, right? And if you must take that photo, keep it on your own darn phone for you – and you only – to look back at.
The conversation has been had – let’s not broadcast it to everyone.
Valentine has been criticized (most recently by the Boston Herald’s John Tomase) for opening his mouth and divulging details of otherwise private conversations between himself and players. He tells the media what he’s talked to other players about, even though some players (like outfielder Carl Crawford) allege that they thought such conversations were held in confidence.
If you have a honest one-on-one conversation with a co-worker or supervisor, be discreet if you feel the need to tell others about it. Many times, it’s no one else’s business but the two people who took part in the conversation, especially if it is about an injury, illness or job performance.
Personal branding is important, but don’t let it seem to distract from your full-time job.
Valentine has been criticized for seemingly continuing to pursue his own interests – being über accommodating to the media (which he once was a member of) and appearing in all sorts of commercials. (Awkward Dunkin Donuts spots chatting iced coffee with centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, anyone?) Especially in the preseason, it made it appear that Valentine was a tad too invested in keeping up the “Bobby V” brand he had built up in non-coaching years, and maybe he was not completely invested in the Sox.
While branding yourself and having outside interests besides your full-time gig is highly recommended these days, make sure you give everything you have your hands in the appropriate amount of effort. You don’t want to ever be in a spot where your supervisor calls you out because it seems like you aren’t giving enough effort at your full-time job because you’re spending all of your time on outside interests. In this current economy, personal branding is important – but so is the gig that you’ve committed to full-time.
No matter the culture at work, limit your on-the-job drinking.
Even though your company has a Friday beer cart (which is an idea I am behind 100%), you should probably not pull a John Lackey and double fist in your workplace (even if it’s a light beer.) Just trust me on that one.