A Lesson from the KC Chiefs: How Healthy Teams Celebrate Individual Success

career happiness company culture Jan 10, 2024
Patrick Mahomes excitedly reaching towards Chris Jones he earned a $1.25 million bonus

Hot Take: Working with colleagues that celebrate you is underrated.

It's true. I talk to dozens of tech professionals every week, and this rarely comes up.

They discuss having collaborative colleagues.

They discuss having supportive bosses.

They don't discuss being celebrated by teammates, and I think that's a shame.

Last weekend, as I watched the last regular season Kansas City Chiefs game, I saw this kind of celebration on full display.

From a playoff perspective, the result of this game didn't matter. The Chiefs knew they's be the AFC's #3 seed no matter what.

In games like this, resting the top players is common, so they don't get hurt during a game that doesn't matter much.

Coach Reid rested a bunch of people.

  • QB Patrick Mahomes.
  • Tight End Travis Kelce.
  • Wide Reciever Rashee Rice.
  • Corner Back L'Jarius Sneed.

The list goes on.

It's also not uncommon for NFL players to have incentive bonuses for hitting key metrics.

Such was the case for starting Defensive Tackle, Number 95 Chris Jones.

He needed 10 sacks (aka "knock the QB down before he passes") to earn a huge bonus.

He had 9.5.

In his case, sitting out the game would cost him a cool $1.25 million.

Coach Reid decided to let him play.

I'm sure Coach Reid was hoping Jones would sack the QB on the first snap so he could pull him out super early.

That's not what happened.

At halftime, Jones still hadn't gotten his sack.

Finally, in the 3rd quarter, he got it!

He sacked Chargers QB Easton Stick, for a loss of 11 yards.

Normally, when a DT sacks a QB, he might get a couple of "good job" reinforcements on the field and then line right back up for the next snap.

Not this time.

This time, the whole darn Chiefs team ERUPTED in excitement for their colleague to succeed at his *individual* goal during a team game.

95 got swarmed by cheering teammates practically before he could get off the field.

They were just so happy for him to hit his goal!

-Even if they didn't particularly like him.

-Even though they wouldn't get a dime of his bonus.

-Even if they know it's highly unlikely for him to be with the Chiefs next year because of Football Math.

We all need teammates and colleagues who react like this to our success.

For most of us, work is a team sport.

We can't do much of anything on our own.

Heck, I'm a solo business owner, and I can't do it on my own.

So - when you're thinking about whether you work in a healthy company, and whether your colleagues are TRULY great.

Consider whether they'd go nuts if you hit the KPI that will earn you a bonus they don't share in.

If not - it's time to figure out how to find colleagues like that.

Is it time for you to find a job with a healthier team culture?  I can help! Book an intro call to learn more about my coaching programs right here.