Leeds United 3 – Stoke City 1 – The empathy game…

A few things dawned on me today.

  1. Stoke City shouldn’t be the bookies favourite for automatic promotion to the Premier League
  2. Work is not always work….the lines blurr
  3. Hard work and togetherness always pay off over individual ability
  4. Empathy and honesty should be the cornerstone of success

So, a little while ago when the fixtures came out for the new Championship season, it was almost fate that, having not been in the Championship for a decade, my team’s (Stoke City) first game would be against my business partner’s team and the city I now call home (Leeds United).

Roll on a month or so and not having been able to purchase tickets in the away seats to be sat with my fellow Potter fans, I realised that I would need to go under the radar and buy a ticket which would have me surrounded by the Mighty Whites fans.

So, I’m sat watching the game today and unfortunately my worst fears were coming true…not only are we losing but we are being beaten quite convincingly. I start thinking back to an article my business partner sent me yesterday about how the new Leeds United manager had made the Leeds players pick up litter for the same amount of time that it would take an average fan to work to pay for a ticket. I could easily see why the Leeds United players were quicker to the breakdown, closed down the ball faster and made more space in their movement than the Stoke team were doing. It showed how team work always prevails over individual flair and that standing side by side with those willing to put in a shift makes hard work feel like it’s not really work at all. It becomes fun and fulfilling.

Half time, two nil down. I’m telling myself that I’ll never get that 45 minutes of my life back again when I got thinking that my perspective now is quite unique….I’m watching fans around me who want a totally different result to me and because of that we are seeing a different game….that was no way a penalty, come on ref that should have been a yellow…..you get the picture. I get a text from my business partner at half time…he sugar coats the situation. It backs up my thought processes I have been having for the past few minutes…empathy is one of the greatest skills we have as humans.

The result of the game was never in question from that point on but lessons have been learned. Taking this into the world of work and more specifically recruitment we need to always work hard, pull together, ask for help, go beyond the usual 9 to 5 and really put ourselves in each other’s shoes…..try to understand each other as people first.