8 Ways Becoming an Official Can Help You Become a Better Business Person

There are so many great things to learn from the spirit of competition. It teaches players and coaches the fundamental disciplines to work through adversity and persevere as the progress through life. There is, however, another sector that is learning just as much with every competition that is being played - the officials. Below are 8 ways becoming an official can help you become a better business person:

1. Discipline

Whether it be with a temper, a conversation or a whistle, discipline is a must in the wake of competition. An official's discipline is critical to maintaining control in an otherwise chaotic and potentially hostile situation. As officials enter the workplace every week, they can draw from this same discipline of being on time to meetings, working through tough conversations with co-workers or working a little later to accomplish the task. Discipline is as vital in sports as it is in a professional career.

2. Details

"Art is all in the details." - Christian Marclay. When watching the best of the best work games, it looks like art or poetry in motion. The footwork is seamless, conversations are easy, they are smiling as they work. This is because you are watching an official that has prepared every detail of their craft. Officials can lean on this as they enter the workplace. Preparing for every detail is the polish that moves good business people to great business people. Prepare detailed answers for potential questions that a customers may ask. Prepare detailed plans for any new challenges that may present themselves. Have detailed understanding what roles and responsibilities exist. These details are what will ensure success on the fields and courts as they do in your daily work life.

3. Teamwork

As most sports are officiated in crews, teamwork is vital to working a successful game. Officials learn that to work in that crew setting, it is important to "fish in your own pond" while having awareness of everything else. You have to be humble and be open to criticism, but be bold enough to make a crew saving decision at any moment. Teamwork is the foundation for all things successful. Business professionals must keep a team mindset in play as they enter a conference room or whenever they are working in groups. Teamwork is having the humility to listen to co-workers, the patience to endure criticism of your own ideas and the strength to be bold enough to have and share an opinion. Great officials survive on exceptional teamwork as do great companies.

4. Communication

There are so many forms of communication, it's hard to single out one over the other. Officials spend countless hours working on signal communication, but one that officials are always trying to perfect is body language. Officials watch film, talk with crew members and question their mentors as they are always searching for the best way to handle questionable situations. Body language seems to always be in the discussion. As they work to improve on all the forms of body language, this is something that can help set officials apart in the workplace. Body language is one thing that can build and maintain positive energy in the office. Great business people always have great body language.

5. Judgement

Wisdom, experience and patience are just a few ingredients to formulate good judgement. This is pretty simple - this separates the good ones from the great ones. Having good judgement as an official or a business person is invaluable. Officials are lucky in that they get to work on improving judgement everyday. They can use these fundamentals to help have better judgement and move those fundamentals into their work life. Improving judgement is a life-long quest on and off the field.

6. Character

What are you doing when no one is watching? That would define your character. As judges of a fair contest, officials always strive to maintain an impartial component of the game. Officials are expected to remove themselves from conflict, turn the other cheek, and admit guilt when they fail. Officials are accused, slandered, mocked and filmed to spotlight any short comings they may have, all the while they are expected to remain silent. The opportunities that exist to create upstanding character are innumerable. One slip and it could wipe away a lifetime of good decisions. At the foundation of great business people is high character.

7. Leadership

Some of the greatest leaders in the world have been found in all types of sports. The officiating community has no shortage of those leaders as well. Officials are always working to improve leadership skills and in officiating there are countless opportunities to work on that. Leadership is the "IT" factor found in all sound organizations. As officials transcend the world of sport into the world of business, this factor is one that should be carried everyday. Always remember, many aspects of leadership are learned traits.

8. Courage

There are not many moments challenging courage more than making the big call in the big moment. Great officials get better when things get bigger. This is because of the courage that has been developed over time. In their professional lives, officials call on this courage to make tough decisions, deliver presentations and take risks that others may be afraid to take. The courage developed in officiating is important as it will develop strong business people.

As officials all personally draw from various experiences in officiating the goal is to become better officials, better business professionals and better people.


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