Blog Post

Win Your Shift

September 06, 2019

Hockey can be demoralizing. You practiced hard; you’ve put in the sweat; you’re beaten up, bruised, out of gas, and yet you’re looking up at the scoreboard, and you’re down three goals. A comeback feels impossible.

My high school hockey coach had a saying for situations like this – “Win your shift.”

There are no three-pointers in hockey. The only way back is one goal at a time. The only thing you can control is your next shift. Make the most out of that 60 seconds on the ice and rely on your teammates to do the same. If you just start winning shifts, the goals will come. Persevere.

This year, the Blues were in the deepest of holes. The morning of Jan. 3, they were in dead last place. Many teams in that situation would pack it in, play out the rest of the season at half-speed and try again next year. You would hardly blame them if they did. Instead of giving up, they took it game by game, period by period, shift by shift, and ended the seasons as Stanley Cup Champions. It will go down as one of the most gutsy, inspirational stories in the history of the NHL.

Maritz is a company built on perseverance. In its 125-year history, it has endured wars, recessions, technology revolutions and countless competitors. For generations, Maritz people showed up every day and won more shifts than we lost.

I’m fairly new here (at least in Maritz terms), but it’s inspiring to think about the 125-year history. Millions of people have redeemed points, won an award, been on a trip, attended a conference, expressed feedback to a company. Thousands upon thousands of employees who have collected Maritz paychecks, which have been used for countless college educations, first homes, birthday presents, engagement rings and diapers.

We all know that there are good days and bad, even good years and bad. Sometimes dealing with a tough client or a hard project feels like you’re in last place in the standings. All we can control is our next shift – the next meeting, the next business pitch, the next hour until lunch. Win that shift and trust that your teammates will do the same.

They don’t give out championships for businesses, but I am certain that I am a part of a championship team. Here’s to perseverance.

Jesse Wolfersberger is the chief data officer at Maritz Motivation.