Recognise This! – How you play the game often matters as much as the outcome.

I’m a Red Sox fan. People accuse me of being a “fair weather” fan because I didn’t start following the Sox until the 2004 season (the year they finallywon the World Series again after an 86-year drought), but that’s not why I started watching baseball. The fault for that lies entirely with my husband, to whom I became engaged in early 2004. I’m pretty sure he was born wearing a Red Sox cap.

All of that to say, I was at the Red Sox / Toronto Blue Jays game yesterday – a perfectly pointless game in terms of it having any impact on the outcome of the season. We’re bottom of the league, with no hope of making the playoffs. Our season is effectively over. And yet… the team played their hardest, running out every hit, chasing down every ball.

The fans were just as invested. The stands at Fenway Park were packed – all the way through to the end of the 9th inning (with, once again, no hope of a win). The cheering was no less vociferous. We love our Sox.

Over the last decade, I’ve had the chance to experience many a game at Fenway – some clutch to our playoffs hopes, some so early in the season it didn’t seem to matter. And that’s the difference – the experience. That’s what makes us keep packing the stands, keep cheering our hearts out – the experience of being at Fenway, together, with our team and fellow fans, willing a win.

Sometimes, it’s like that at work, too. Sometimes, we get the plum projects, the exciting opportunities, and all the glory that comes with them. And sometimes, we get the grunt work. The jobs that just need to get done so we can, perhaps, clean up a past failure or lay the groundwork for a future and as-yet-unimagined success.

What really matters is how we choose to perform in both situations. Whether we’re in the last stages of a surefire success project, or doing the scut work to prepare the team for a new era, we choose if we’re going to give our best to our fellow teammates, to the company, and to the customers (the fans) who are relying on us to give them the top-notch experience they’ve come to expect and deserve.

And that’s where our decisions on how choose to help and support each other really matter. Do you cheer on your fellow teammates? Do you recognise them for a “good play” or exceptional effort? Take a moment today to say thank you to those around you who make it fun to play through to the end.

Who will you thank today?

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