“I calls ’em like I see’s ’em”

Think about it, what Umpire, Referee, or Coach would be worth their salt if they didn’t “call ’em like they see ’em.”  Answer:  NONE.

We’ve all watched nail biting sports events that had their share of bad calls.  It happens.  That said, if it happens too much, that Referee will probably be sent back to the minors or the unemployment line.  It’s critical that those calling the game are at the top of theirs.  After all, we certainly do pay them to do just that.

But when it comes to those of us who are Regular Joe’s, who go to our Regular Jobs, and do our Regular Work, why is it so difficult to apply that same standard?  Why does it seem like not only are there no Umpires or Referees, but there aren’t any rules for the game either?  Can you imagine that?  That might be fun for reality TV, but in a football game or tennis, it wouldn’t fly.

Over the many years I’ve spent in Corporate America, I’ve seen this scenario played out over and over again.  “Group Think” and “Consensus Management” rule the playing field in our organizations.  At times I wonder why this is so, and the only thing I can come up with is that this type of practice eliminates accountability and keeps things safe for the groups.

I have rarely seen true pioneers blazing trails in the 30 plus years I’ve been in the work force.  But I still make the case that you’re better off for “calling em like you see em” and I’ll tell you why.  Maybe you’ve been in a similar situation.  When I was in the early stages of my new role as a Process Improvement Consultant, I was a little insecure and timid at first.  I vividly remember being in meetings keeping my mouth shut, but thinking responses to questions posed.  After a number of times of thinking a response and then having someone else in the room say exactly what I was thinking, I thought, you know what?  I’m going to start speaking up.  So I did.  I “called em like I saw em” and didn’t hold anything back.

In time I became a lot more comfortable and self-confident and grew into the role, taking on more responsibility and trying things I had never tried before.  My mentor used to say I had “chutzspa!”  I wouldn’t have grown nearly as much if I’d have played it safe.  People notice you when you “call em like you see em” because there are so few of us doing that anymore.  So, pay attention, be constructive and solution minded, and when the play is at the plate and you’re the ump, don’t be shy….speak up and make the call!


Guest blogger, Janet Santacroce