Workplace Fanatics

End of November.  It’s that time of year.  Football season is in full swing.  High school playoffs are just starting; college rankings shuffle as teams vie for that BCS Championship spot; Super Bowl predictions are taking shape for the NFL.  People are going all out – they can’t help it.  Gatherings are being planned; the chips and dip are ready to go.  Fantasy competitions are coming down to the wire and mid-week Madden is played just to pass the time.  That inexplicable game-day excitement is in the air. 
There’s a buzz…an energy.  Fans are pumped.
Then there’s the look – it’s all about the ensemble, the superstitions.  There’s the lucky T-shirt.  The favorite scarf.  The colorful face paint.  The faithful hat.  Or the unthinkable – the playoff beard.   There is no stopping the dedicated fan.
Enthusiasm, loyalty, passion, hope, community, allegiance – just some of the adjectives that describe this unique and passionate (borderline obsessive) time of year.
These are also the words that have me begging the question… What if this level of energy were to translate into the workplace?
Can you imagine?  What if we were able to harness all of this energy and release it into our jobs, our companies, our cubicles? 
What would that look like?  Perhaps I’m being idealistic, but my guess is: what we long for it to look like!  It would be a place of purpose, collaboration, productivity, even gratitude – a place where employees believe in the work they do.
Is that you?
I think if we’re truly honest with ourselves, this is our desire.  We want the 40+ hours a week that we work to be for more than just to pay the bills – for something bigger than ourselves, where we really feel like we’re learning and contributing to the betterment of this world.  Like the diehard football fan, we want to be proud of our workplace and represent it with enthusiasm.
Unfortunately this isn’t always reality.  There are tough projects, tough managers, tough clients and limited time.  There are bills to be paid and responsibilities to take care of.  But the first step starts with US – asking ourselves these questions: Am I fulfilled in my professional life?  Is the organization I am with encouraging me to reach my full potential?  Do I believe in its mission?  Even more so, am I doing all I can to stretch myself and contribute to my current organization, to ultimately have it become a place I believe in?
Like the football fan, it’s a two-way street.  We must find that mission we are passionate about, and at the same time once there, we must give it our full commitment to make it a place we can be proud of.
Employee Passion can be a real possibility, but it doesn’t just come about on its own.  Intrinsic value starts with choices – there are decisions to be made.  So ask yourself what you truly want, and go for it 100%.  Paint your face, grow the beard and throw the party!  Let’s find our stadium and become workplace fanatics.

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