My wonderful bold city, Jacksonville, Florida, is in a minor uproar this week. It seems the major and minor sports teams in this great city of mine are making huge changes. You would have thought that the world has started to come to an end. I mean, I understand the attachments and different opinions, however, if we do not allow for changes to happen, we often find ourselves stuck.
For starters, the Arena Football Team, the Jacksonville Sharks, made an announcement they were leaving the league they have been playing in since inception. While that may sound minor to some people out there, this is a winning football franchise, even if they are not as well known outside of the North East Florida counties. This had a big impact, because the season is in jeopardy. People love the Sharks around here, because they are a winning tradition here, and lets face it, fair priced entertainment for our city. There are diehard fans in our city that are actually worried about this now. They will find another league, but still, this little change has people skeptical. They will have to take a chance on how the ownership handles this.
Then we move on to our NFL Team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Everyone has been calling for the head coach to be removed. Coaching changes mid-season rarely go well, and the owner has stood by the head coach, at least until the end of this season. I am all for the decision, since I am not the one that is in any team meetings, talked to anyone in the front office, nor do I understand the relationship between the owner and the head coach. Changing for the sake of change is not good in all cases. They did, make a change in their coaching staff. One that the Jaguar fan base is skeptical about. The person they promoted is not battle tested in the new role. That has people worried. They have to take the risk of trusting in the judgement call of someone who is under great scrutiny
One of the most historical franchises in the Bold City’s history decided to change its name today. New owners came in, and have rebranded the franchise. Well, the team, a minor league baseball team, went from being known as the Jacksonville Suns to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. O.k., well, the name change is silly. It is sounds more cartoonish than an actual team taken seriously. If you look at some of the other teams within the same ball league, the names are cartoonish, and the new choice fits in. The new owners are taking a chance by turning their back on the tradition that came with the old name, and are taking a great risk of alienating the local fan base by this change. They are taking a big chance in this.
In 1997, I had been working at Chuck E. Cheese’s for about a year. I was pretty good at my job, had a good time, and enjoyed it. It was my first job ever. It was a place that I could be myself, and get paid. That year, my boss took a chance on me. He promoted me to a team leader role. I had never asked to be a leader. I had never had a conversation with anyone about leading a team, training new people, anything like this. I was not proven in any arena, except for excelling at the work that I was doing. I had no management or leadership ability, but again, my boss took a chance. I could have stunk, because leadership is not for everyone, but still, he went out on a limb. I am still a leader of people, to this day.
We can all have the opinion in the moment when changes and chances are taken. All changes will have an impact of some sort. We have to be open to those changes and give them an opportunity to work. It may be painful, or even nerve wracking at first, but if we all just sat back and never took a chance on any of our decisions, things would never be created, and new things would never be born. It will be tough to see changes happen to things that we are attached to, but we can always try to take a positive approach. We all wanted someone to take a chance on us at some point in our lives, so, we must be willing to allow for other chances in the world as well.