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The World Cup of Work

Posted on June 28, 2014 under Career & Work, Coaching

The World Cup has the streets and bars of New York City in a soccer frenzy.  Team USA's advance to the knock-out round is a milestone and has many Americans engaged in the sport like never before.

Here's an example of how the World Cup is literally everywhere in the city right now.


With Brazil as host, the games are broadcast in the afternoon and into early evening – much more convenient than South Africa 2010 which meant many early mornings for fans.

On Thursday morning, I met up with my close friend Doris who is German to watch USA v. Germany at Reichenbach Hall in Manhattan.  Her Spanish husband had suffered national difficulties earlier in the week.  😉  Hundreds and hundreds of fans packed the hall and the doors were shut by 11:30 a.m.  Needless to say, we happily played hooky all day.


People were decked out in full USA or German regalia – flags, shirts, Uncle Sam hats, crazy glasses, and colors – or in their button down dress shirt and tie.  Guess who in the crowd stepped out of work?

Obviously, Obama doesn't mind my new White House friend Kal Penn taking a break and wearing the Stars and Stripes…


The sheer joy, fervor, and sportsmanship of the World Cup is appealing to even the toughest of employers.  Some are even providing screens in the cafeteria, allowing for long “lunches”, or rotating schedules of team members to come and go from the office.

Why does it take a peaceful worldwide event that happens every 4 years to inject the human spirit into the workforce?

Here's how to have your own World Cup of Work all the time:

Know your priorities.  If you have to leave at a certain time or have other commitments let it be known and negotiate.  For example, when I was getting my MBA I had to leave by 5:15 p.m. two nights per week.  Sometimes this was a problem, but I did it anyway.  Once I flew in from a client meeting in Chicago, took a taxi from LaGuardia to Fordham Business, and took my statistics final with minutes to spare and suitcase in tow.

Have a passion.  My friend John is positively nuts for soccer.  Hence, the World Cup is like a major life event for him.  I saw him last night only because it was his first night “off” from World Cup in two weeks – trust me this was an honored spot to snag with him.

Cut a deal with yourself.  I made a conscious decision to take Thursday off.  I specifically planned to hold up all my responsibilities and goals during the week in order to go out.  If fact, I won a new client earlier in the week and this was the reward for reaching my goal. 🙂  Do you know what happened?  I did it all in less time and with less fuss.

And remember, if your workplace is consistently inflexible about reasonable requests consider giving them The Boot.


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