Playing for Dublin I got my ego checked a good few times but this one had the biggest impact on me and everyone on the team.
At the height of my career I was getting offered a lot of corporate gigs and I’d happily accept thinking nothing of it. But the team wasn’t the same.
“Why is Berno getting all the jobs”
“It’s because he’s a forward”
“It’s because he’s a Brogan”
Ultimately it was hurting the team so we called everyone together to have a meeting.
The Turning Point
This meeting can only be described as a kind of truth session, where players let each other know what annoyed them about each other. Sometimes it was funny things like not liking someone's hat but this day it was more serious and it was coming my way.
“Berno can’t be talking about some sponsorship gig he got when other lads aren’t getting any”
I was shocked but had to take it on the chin. Yeah I was getting a lot of gigs, they were offered to me, no one else was stepping up, so I’d say yes.
Then Pat came in.
“It’s important to remember that you’re getting those gigs and the attention because there are 14 other men out there working their asses off and helping you get the ball”
And from that moment on a percentage share of whatever anyone made from doing commercial jobs (off the back of being a Dublin footballer) would go into a team pot so that everyone could get a slice of the action. A win-win for everyone.
The Key Takeaway
The key takeaway here is yes feedback sucks and it hurts the ego most of the time, but when you have positive outcomes like this that impact your whole team - it’s worth it.
So welcome feedback even if it hurts and try to use it to build a better team culture.
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