It breaks my heart that Tom Brady is out for the season. When he plays he makes football more interesting and the NFL better. Without him, there is a void. Thanks goodness Brett Favre is still around. The irony is that he was held out for the entire pre-season for fear of injury, then in the first quarter of the first game, he is hurt and out for the season. Some wonder if he had played a little during the pre-season, whether he would have been hurt in that first game. Was it bad karma, bad luck, bad pass protection or just the breaks of the game? We will never know, but what I do know is that there is a workplace metaphor here.
There have been several times in my life when I owned something so special that I worried I would lose it or it would be stolen or be abused by the kids. A pen knife collection that my Dad gave me was one such treasure. So I hid it. I didn’t want anyone to use it or steal it so I found a hiding place for it. The problem was I forgot where I hid it. It took years of searching and I finally found it again hidden in the garage. There have been other times where I have hidden something from the world and the one who couldn’t find it was me, the one who couldn’t enjoy it was me and the one who was in misery because something so nice was lost was me.
Forget football, forget my pen knife collection – think of what you might be hiding at work. No not, those gummy bears behind your printer, I am talking about your skills, your ideas, your special qualities that you hold back thinking you will wait until the better job comes along or until you get paid what you are worth or until they get real cream for the coffee or until…
The only one that suffers from holding back is you and your career. Imagine Steve Jobs or John Chambersor the Google Guys holding back. Those innovation ideas or process flow improvements or your creativity and sense of humor should be brought forward now, not next time. Next time may be too late. The more you add the more you will see. Too often, people hold back and stuff the value they can add in the lower right desk drawer waiting for a better time. That time is now. Get the recognition now, get the satisfaction that you made the place better now.
Entrepreneurs that we see that get funded are not the ones who say this is a good idea – they are the ones that say I think my next company will be built around a better idea. They get funded are not reckless but send out a message that they will not hold anything back to make the company successful and have opinions about what that will take.
I wish Tom Brady a speedy recovery and I wish you would show everyone what you can really do now.