Thanksgiving weekend in the US – that traditionally means lots of turkey and lots of football.
While watching the Thanksgiving Classics I caught myself thinking about all those flags thrown by the officials. In business there obviously aren’t any flags to throw for indicating a foul. Even worse, there aren’t a lot of rules on what foul play would be. So I compiled my top five football fouls I would like to see called in business, too. Here’s the list:
5) Unsportsmanlike conduct
There is no rule in the NFL that disallows playing hard in general. But when it comes to taunting or verbally abusing others, fouls are strictly enforced.
Bullying coworkers, talking negative about them and trying to build oppositions against others is not playing hard. It’s simply unsportsmanlike and unfair. That’s not the right spirit, neither on the pitch nor in the office.
4) Delay of game
That’s a classic: Not getting things done in time, not trying to move, watching left, right, left, right, etc., thinking what to do best and meanwhile forgetting to get anything done in the first place.
In football, that’s just a five yard penalty. Not one of the big ones, but one that wakes up and gets everyone focused again. That would be a useful one in other areas, too.
3) Intentional grounding
Intentional grounding is the desperate try of the quarterback to avoid being sacked. It is not trying to be productive at all, as the quarterback isn’t trying to throw towards a receiver, all he does is trying to destroy the well-earned reward for the defensive player.
Trying to avoid a negative impact for oneself even if it may kill the reward of the hard working coworkers is a rather common pattern (many say it’s generally the more common the higher you look in hierarchies). Not being able to accept a mistake and trying to soft-pedal it by playing tricks would be well worth being penalized .
2) Illegal formation
An illegal formation is called in football when players are not lined-up in accordance with the rules. In companies the formations are also well defined. There are clear hierarchies of how people are lined-up. Yet, many try to bypass these defined formations, trying to gain a personal advantage. Even though others realize it and even though it is not considered correct behavior in companies either, this is nearly never called, i.e. sanctioned.
1) Unnecessary roughness
The name of this foul speaks for itself. It is a sign of missing respect for others, a sign that a player values his own aggression higher than feeling and state of others. If this foul would exist in business, I’m sure it would be among those called the most often.
So what fouls would you love to see penalized in your office? Throw the flag or simply leave a comment!