Royals vs. Giants and What a 3rd grader’s Game Watching Contract can Teach us about Business
It’s the World Series and my team the Kansas City Royals has not sniffed an appearance in 29 years. The Giants on the other hand suffer from a plethora of riches in terms of World Series appearances. They also have some great fans that know what it is like to win and how to be a good sport at the same time. My neighbors are some of those Giants fans.
As the MLB playoffs have unfolded, my neighbor and I have both been rooting for our teams with hopes that they would meet in the World Series. My daughter and my neighbor’s twin boys, all 3rd graders, have been sitting in my living room cheering both teams as they fought their way through the American and National League Championship Series. As luck would have it both teams made it and we are now watching the games together in my living room. Both families… divided in loyalties yet still watching together for the love of baseball.
As soon as I realized both teams were going to be in the World Series, I became super excited that we would be able to watch games together. It was going to be a great experience that all the kids would remember for the rest of their lives. I also realized that eventually some of us were going to be disappointed. Maybe really disappointed…
Now, kids are generally smarter than adults at many things and this dilemma concerning disappointment and how a loss by either team could impact our relationships was something the kids had already considered. In fact, they had thought about it so much that they drafted a contract for both families to sign before we started watching the World Series games. They titled the contract a “Contract of Friends” and it is shown below:
What really struck me about the Contract of Friends was that these 3rd graders had clearly planned for an event that was certain to occur… some of us were going to lose and feel bad. They also added terms that required the parties to “remain friends. Wether your team wins or ours wins the World Series!”
Spelling aside, these kids understand some fundamental lessons for success in business… make a plan before the event happens, get acceptance from all parties with clearly defined terms, and then try to maintain those relationships even if everyone doesn't win. That is how you build a great business over the course of your lifetime. It is also a great way to keep friendships.
Third graders can teach us a lot about the right way to do things. We should listen. And when we are done listening… we should cheer for the Royals!