In July 2023, I played in a Pro-Am league that featured Toronto’s top local, overseas, & NBA talent. Here are 3 personal reflections that may translate to career advancement and workplace culture.
Be a great teammate
People want to know you can do the job, but it’s also important to show you’re a good teammate to get the job done with. For example, I could shoot, defend and read the game at a high enough level, but I received the most praise from my team for being an unselfish teammate who just wanted to win. Once I demonstrated skills on the court, it complemented the teamwork and energy I tried to bring to each game. The same applies in the workplace - just replace "on the court" to "in the workplace".
Find your role and thrive in it
Understanding what you do best on your team can help you demonstrate value quicker. If you are a great defender, that will earn you minutes on the court. If you visualize data better than anyone else, show that. If you’re a good presenter, let it be known.
See the people behind the common goal
Life is larger than the sport you may play. Life is bigger than the job you do. The more you can see the people behind the projects you work on, the more you may build a community and network that will support you throughout your career. At the end of the day, we're all people trying the best we can, with what we can make sense of in the world around us. The more you can acknowledge that fact, the more you may build meaningful relationships. Empathy goes a long way.
I like drawing comparisons in life & research and connecting them through reflection posts, workshops, and speaking engagements. Feel free to explore my website to learn more!
Backstory: I got to play in a men’s league last summer that had a lot of high level talent. As someone who works a 9-5, I felt intimidated at first because I would play most games after sitting in a desk all day, vs many guys who were paid to play around the world. Remembering the 3 points above actually helped me though. I almost averaged a double-double and was even asked by people why I never pursued a professional career. I said I love the work I do in my career and The Reach Series , so I believe I made the right choice at the end of the day.