Lakers or Celtics? -- The Importance of Setting Aside Competing Differences
When starting out at any new organization, it’s important to fit in. Not just feel like you’re meshing, but to fully and totally become a part of the team. It helps to do research on the organization -- whether you will interviewing with them, outreaching to them for new business, or pitching them on a story.
When I was going through the interview process with Lois Paul and Partners, my research on my future employer and colleagues led me to this blog. And from perusing “Beyond The Hype,” I discovered not just a company that likes high tech PR. I found a company that enjoys sports, politics, culture, and all around excitement. A company filled with a diversity of backgrounds, character, and expertise; all working toward a singular goal. All things I wanted to be a part of. But as I read through blog post after blog post, there was something glaring me in the face...
I am from Los Angeles. When it comes to sports, I am a Los Angeles Lakers fan, a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, and a Los Angeles Kings fan. Football…get back to me in a few years. So now, with my true colors flying, here’s the one hiccup I saw:
I do not support or root for any Boston sports teams. The Celtics are the nemesis to my Lakers. I can’t stand the Red Sox, or tell them apart from the Yankees. I’m always rooting for the team playing the New England Patriots, for David to actually beat Goliath. And the Bruins just never crossed my mind, until last year's Stanley Cup.
Yes, this places me in the minority at Lois Paul and Partners. And yes, I’m in Austin, not Boston (fun fact, Austin is the largest American city without a team from any of the “Big Four” professional sports leagues. It is Longhorn territory, but that’s fine). And truly, all of this sports stuff is fine, because at the end of the day what matters is not who roots for which team, or votes for which guy in whichever suit. It’s about setting aside differences and working together to assist exciting, innovative clients in their public relations efforts. Putting in all the hours needed to launch products, land good features in great publications, and savor that beer at the office happy hour after your successes are realized.
My research only illuminated these exciting possibilities. The decision to go to bat for Lois Paul and Partners was a clear no-brainer. Just because I root for different teams doesn’t mean I’ll be keeping quiet – diversity is a great strength, after all. But don’t get me wrong, I’ll have those two Lakers vs. Celtics games circled on my calendar for this coming season.