It was a situation like this past Monday night’s NFL football game between Seattle and Green Bay, where I found myself staring incredulously at the television, wondering “What the heck just happened?” There was a blatant controversy on the actual outcome of the game, where two referees had conflicting interpretations of the ruling on the field. In the most bizarre of circumstances, the ruling on the field of a touchdown catch by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate was upheld, even with video replay showing the ball actually being caught by a Packer safety, M.D. Jennings.
After my usual Tuesday routine of work and getting the chance to think about the call from Monday night, I couldn’t help but contemplate the broader implications of this complex decision by the replacement referees. Even the National Football League was willing to stand behind the interpretation made by the officials on a seemingly obvious call that was clearly mishandled.
In terms of everyday life, does a controversy like this really have any impact whatsoever? Although I am not a fan of the Green Bay Packers, nor am I a former player or person involved with the NFL, I believe a decision like this can have an impact on how we view the world in our daily routines outside of the world of sports.
In whatever profession you are in, whether it’s accounting, law, or software sales (my world), there has to be something you can take away from Monday night’s debacle. In sales, for example, there are going to be objections and misinterpretations of the product or service you are pushing for and the messaging behind your deliverance. Just like the referees having different opinions, there may be decision makers like IT directors and personnel within the organization who want to learn more about how you can help their business, while a VP or CIO wants to shut you out. Just like the bad call, a potential CIO may not realize the full extent of how the solution your selling will ultimately help them. That’s where it is my job as a sales person to help convince them otherwise.
Lastly, as we are going through our work days and routines, let us not forget that there are going to be errors in judgements along the way. There are going to be plenty of bad calls and unfair advantages, competitors who are trying to out-jockey you for a deal and decision makers, who are not getting the full gambit of available information. How one goes about overcoming objections and keeping a level head through all of the politics that surround us, ultimately determines what kind of outcome he/she can expect. As I thought about the “sleepless” unrest in Seattle on Monday night, I can now relax much easier on a Wednesday morning knowing that one botched decision in a football game does not have to mean continuous rejection or unfair advantages in our everyday lives.
As we say in Hebrew, “Shana Tova.” May you have a happy, healthy and successful new year.