Today, I’m going to do something I never thought possible. I’m giving Roger Goodell credit for making a good decision.
Wow, that was tough to type.
Earlier this week, the NFL Commissioner made a statement that the league was relaxing some of the rules regarding touchdown celebrations. What does that mean, exactly? Acts as horrific as making snow angels, using the ball as a prop, and group dances will no longer result in 15-yard penalties and fines.
It’s about time.
I realize that some fans abhor these celebrations (Anthony being one of them), but the majority don’t believe they’re worthy of punishment, and so the NFL altered its stance on excessive fun. “We know you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown,” Goodell said. “And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.”
Now, they shall — at least, within reason. As a fan, I’m pleased. Not just because one of the key players on the Giants (wide receiver Odell Beckham) is prone to post-TD revelry, but because football is supposed to be fun. As Terrell Owens recently noted, fans, “Don’t just want to see their team win … they want to see some entertainment.”
I also think Goodell (or whoever advised him to make this decision) is wise to focus less on disciplining players who perform the Thriller dance, and more on improving player safety and handing down appropriate punishments for off-the-field misconduct. And I’m by no means his only critic (for some fun reading, check out this link — I know my New England fan friends will appreciate it.)
This time, however, he got it right. With one swift move, player satisfaction went up a few notches, and it didn’t cost a dime.
These are the types of opportunities I believe all leaders should be looking for — programs and policies that make coming to work more enjoyable. Now, of course I understand that the business of caring for patients can never be compared to a game. But there is a lesson to be learned about making sure the people who do the hard work are able to a) find enjoyment in it, and b) express themselves.
One way to do that? By offering a valued staff member a project that falls out of his or her realm, or an opportunity to join other departments for a day. A few years ago, I spoke with a friend in IT who had the chance to sit in on a cardiac surgery, and she called the experience “extraordinary,” saying it gave her a whole new perspective on the work clinicians do.
Other ways to do that include taking staff members to conferences or industry events, holding team-building activities (such as volunteer days), and celebrating achievements through parties or recognition programs.
If none of that speaks to you, try speaking to your reports on a personal level. Maybe start a meeting or huddle by asking how their weekend went or how their children are doing.
No matter what your strategy, remember — in the midst of all the seriousness and priorities, we need to leave some room for fun. As long as it’s not excessive.