You Can’t Please Everyone…Seriously, You Can’t

25 08 2009

Years ago I officiated high school football.  I met a lot of really great guys who loved football, and cared about teaching kids about safety, sportsmanship, and how to play the game.  I also learned a lot, and the main thing that officiating football taught me was this:


No matter how good you are at your job, no matter how committed you are to doing the right thing, you are never going to make everyone happy.


For someone who is an approval junkie, that’s a tough lesson to learn.  But a hotly contested division rivalry will quickly issue you an impactful lesson about it.  With a coach screaming in your ear despite making the proper call, you pick it up pretty quickly: it’s not what you did, it’s the perspective of the person watching you do it…and that’s something you can’t always change. 


Eventually you learn that if you continue doing the right thing, though, more people than not will understand and appreciate the value you’ve added.  Yes, there will always be the unfortunate few so rooted in their own reality that they will not step out of it, even for a second, to consider yours.  But you can’t help those people.  Well, maybe you can, but consider first the cost you have to invest, personally and professionally, in trying to sway one of those people.  Sometimes it’s worth the effort.  Sometimes it’s better for all concerned to just walk away from the relationship.


You don’t have to make everyone happy, you don’t have to save everyone, and, the plain truth of it is, you can’t do either one no matter how hard you try.


Just keep doing the right thing. 

Posted via email from NetWeave Threads




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