Independent Thinking Blog

The Problem with the NFL

Is your business incentivizing employee collaboration?

The NFL does not have guaranteed contracts. This means that you can negotiate your multi-year deal, but if your get injured, sneeze the wrong way, or otherwise lose your marketability, then you end up on the street with nothing. Similarly, football teams routinely “renegotiate” deals midstream to give your dollars to someone else.

Do you really want to help the young guys?

In contrast to the NFL, MLB contracts are guaranteed. If you have a $100-million contract you are going to get that money whether you remain a superstar or get injured, age badly, or otherwise end up an albatross on your team.

One sports league fosters mentoring and collaboration; the other does not.

I’ve been thinking about this topic lately because there have been a number of stories this year about the way the veterans on my baseball team have mentored, guided, and helped a mostly very young squad to be better baseball players.

This isn’t to say that NFL players don’t (or won’t) mentor their teammates. But the way the business of football is structured means that most of the time you’re mentoring your replacement. And, unlike most companies, it’s not like there’s a promotion on the horizon. You’re either in or you’re out.

Is your business encouraging mentoring and collaboration or hindering it?

Photo by cliff1066 (Flickr).

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