Integrity in the Game and the Workplace

By Kylee Julian

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I have been a club volleyball coach for five years, and I have had the privilege to coach the same girls since they were in eighth grade. My players are from all over, but the club is based out of the Lee’s Summit/Independence area.

I decided to become a coach because I love the game. I have played volleyball my whole life and dreamt of the day when I would become a coach. Being a coach has allowed me to see life through a different parallel. I am constantly connecting volleyball to life, work and school.

In this blog post, I will discuss some of the important lessons that the game and coaching taught me, as well as how those lessons carry over into my life and my future career.

 

|| Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all. ||

 

This is one of the hardest lessons to learn, not only as an athlete, but as a public relations professional as well. My players had this experience during our past season. In the game of volleyball, the referee holds the majority of the power. What they say goes, and you have to learn at an early age to respect that.

It is the same in a place of work. Your boss holds the power, what they say goes even if you don’t like it or agree.

 

|| “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” -Mia Hamm ||

 

In the game of volleyball, you have to find something to play for. I often tell my players that if they can’t succeed in playing for themselves, then to play for their teammates.

Regularly, I think people get lost in doing something with passion because there isn’t that underlying drive. However, when you do something for someone else, give it everything you’ve got because you’re playing for them and you find that you will push yourself to new limits.

You have to find a drive, a purpose, and someone for whom you wish to work. Look at the client and their end goals, and think about why they hired you. When you have success they have success, and the organization has success– everyone wins.

 

|| We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust, and care for each other. ||

 

I am always one to have a respectful team with good sportsmanship. We like to tell our girls to think about how they would want to be treated if they were the officiating team. I tell my players that the time-honored saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated” will always stand true.

This is the same for any public relations professional, or really any professional. If you treat your co-workers, fellow students, boss and anyone with whom you interact with kindness and respect, often you will receive the same. In the UCM PR department here at UCM we often work in a team dynamic, whether it is group work, editing each other’s work, or just sitting and brainstorming in class. As a class, we have to respect others views, perspectives and ideas in order to receive the same.

 

|| “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you will be successful.” -Eric Thomas ||

 

Sometimes you just lose. It happens. What my players learned throughout the season is to never lose their pride, self-respect, and integrity. My team members didn’t complain when things weren’t going their way. They acted like respectful young women and just played their game.

Sometimes you will fail in public relations, it’s inevitable. As one of our professors said, “Public Relations is a pass or fail kind of business.” However, the way that you fail in this business isn’t true failure. It has been said that you only fail when you don’t try and that failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of it. You have to take your failures and learn from them, and take your successes and use them.

 

|| “If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.” -Henry Kravis ||

 

Whether it is winning a volleyball tournament or accomplishing a business goal, if you do it with integrity you can’t lose.

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