“The Things We Think But Do Not Say”: 2016 Sports Business Resolutions

In the December Turnkey Sports Poll (Q13), respondents were asked to select their 2016 career-related New Year’s Resolution from a brief list. The results were interesting: a full 62% of sports business executives polled picked “Improve work/life balance” or “Decrease stress”.

For the record: just 23% selected an option more directly related to career advancement (“Earn a raise or promotion”, “Earn a degree or advanced studies certificate”), while 8% said they’d like to change employers. The remaining 7% didn’t submit a response.

Think about that for a moment. In my experience, the prevailing mentality for those working in sports business is typically described (by myself included) as “work hard, play hard”. We tell potential entry-level employees to expect long hours and, at least early on, low pay. We’re always on our smartphones checking email and social media feeds, and we’ve come to accept as normal that any task can be assigned (and addressed) immediately, no matter the day or time.

Looking at the TSP results, though, it seems like many of us would like to dial back that lifestyle a bit. And no, that’s not just Millennials talking – the vast majority of TSP respondents are actually senior level executives.

Don’t panic yet – this isn’t the beginning of a Jerry Maguire-esque Mission Statement. However, as we all look to innovate, grow our businesses, and hire and nurture the best people in 2016, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge how our industry may be evolving, and think about what we should be doing to keep our teams healthy, productive and inspired.



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