Thanks to Gordon Trucking, I recently had the distinct privilege to attend the September 24 Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers during a business trip to Washington. That game became instantly famous for the number of bad calls by fill-in referees. As a result, the bad publicity from the game is said to have contributed to ending the NFL’s lock out of the regular referees.
Let me describe to you what I observed at the now infamous game. Keep in mind that not being a fan of either team helped me to pay close “objective” attention to the players.
Both teams were the victims of bad calls, even though I believe the Packers received more than the Seahawks. Especially blatant was the “no call” of offensive pass interference on the last play of the game which stole a victory from the Packers.
Watching the Packers, I was struck by how they reacted to calls that were unfair. There were two kinds of reactions. Half of the team reacted angrily. They jumped up and down, flailed their fists, yelled and generally carried on. In contrast, the other half of the team displayed no reaction. These players just returned to the scrimmage line and made ready for the next play. I was impressed at how they remained cool and composed in spite of the unfair calls.
After a few of these I began to recognize a trend. The emotionally involved players invariably did badly in the next play following the bad calls. They caused a penalty or just failed to execute well. The players that kept their cool played better.
Every Packer on the field was a professional, but the ones who did not overreact were more professional than the others. Now, consider how professionalism among Fleet Managers is equally important.
Fleet Managers are professionals who have developed an admirable skill set. Time management, multi-tasking, problem-solving and planning are obvious skills. Diplomacy and tact, straight forward communication, and awareness of one’s impact on different personalities are the higher developed skill sets that take a lifetime to perfect.
The ability to stay above the fray emotionally is a critical success factor in Fleet Manager‘s effectiveness. In the normal course of a day drivers will sometimes get mad at a Fleet Manager for something that is not the manager’s fault. The real pros don’t get caught up in whose fault it was. They stay focused on what needs to be done.
When you see one of your Fleet Managers taking the high road and demonstrating cool professionalism, show them some fan appreciation. They deserve it.
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