Professional sports is often all business. While there are moments of happiness, too many people forget to have fun and enjoy the journey. And then along comes the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers celebrate all their successes on the field, from first downs on. And since they won the NFC Championship, the hate they have drawn on social media for their antics is alarming. Many people believe the Panthers are being bad sports, are bad role models, are self-focused, and so on.
Perhaps they are self-focused, but they are 20-something-year-old athletes. A little self-focus is kind of a job requirement, considering how much time they need to give their body even to play a game like football. Instead of bashing the Carolina Panthers and their leader, Quarterback Cam Newton, what if we in the business world learned from them?
1) Enjoy Your Wins
You’ve heard it here before, and you’ll hear it on Sportsepreneur again; enjoy the Journey. This wave of success will not last forever, nothing ever does. Enjoy it while you can. Imagine winning many important deals but never celebrating the victory? Do a dance in your office, high five a colleague, get excited! Your professional life is filled with ups, downs and crazy turns. Enjoy them.
2) Don’t Be too Serious
Some people are just serious by nature and that’s not a bad thing. You don’t have to jump up and down and shout if that’s not you. But don’t think that being professional or responsible means pretending to be serious when you’re not. Most of all, don’t think you always have to take yourself seriously. Don’t act like you’re above everybody else–let your guard down and goof off a little.
3) Keep It Simple
Cam Newton scores a touchdown, takes the football and hands it to a child, and the talk shows go crazy dissecting and criticizing his intentions. What’s wrong with a player giving a child a game ball or a high five? Who cares if it helps the Cam Newton brand? The kid is just excited that this superstar football player gave him a football and now everyone is clapping and cheering. Sometimes it’s important to look beneath the surface at costs and benefits and reason, but sometimes it just isn’t. If you want to put yourself out there for someone, just do it.
If you are doing all this dancing and celebrating, you better back it up. How silly would you look if you celebrated all the time and then lost? Keep the momentum going by holding yourself accountable. Enjoy that journey and get excited—that excitement will keep you on your game.
5) Give Back
While people judge the Carolina Panthers, they are busy giving back with a smile on their face. You can have this impact too.
Two foundations created by Carolina Panther players.
Please understand, I’m not suggesting you party like “The Wolf on Wall Street.” Just enjoy your successes; celebrate with your associates, your family, your clients. There will always be competitors looking to take your success for themselves, so keep hustling, keep working, and keep having fun. You know the Carolina Panthers will.