After more than three decades of marriage, rearing three now-grown children and the introduction of a grandchild into the mix, there are still surprises. My wife morphed into a full-fledged fantasy football geek this season.
Miss Barbara, whom I’ve known for nearly her entire life, has never been interested in football. In fact, we had developed a comfortable routine over 36 years of marriage. On those quiet Sunday afternoons when there are no other obligations, Miss Barbara would take a nap and I would settle in for a few hours of watching football.
Fantasy football changed all that, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Miss Barbara joined a fantasy football league with her sister and friends, and the competitive nature of the sport got into her blood. She prepared for the draft. The season started with a bang when her quarterback, Peyton Manning, threw seven touchdown passes on opening day. The hook was set. Through the season, she studied the rosters. She traded players. She watched the waiver wire. Then a few weeks ago she took her fantasy team to the fantasy Super Bowl. As the real NFL heads into the playoff season, she knows more about the current status of NFL players and teams than I do.
My Sunday afternoon sanctuary has been invaded. Instead of casually relaxing alone and watching the games, Miss Barbara spent the football season by my side checking scores, texting trash talk to her sister and yelling at the big screen. One recent Sunday I finally had to ask her, “Who are you, and what have you done with my wife?”
I’ve always said that change is like a wet baby. Nobody likes it but the baby. But I’m torn on this one. One part of me likes my NFL-fanatic wife and another part feels threatened by it. So maybe some change is more like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates: sometimes it’s what you want, sometimes it’s not. And sometimes you take a bite and it’s not at all what you expected.
One thing’s for certain: today’s businesses need to not only tolerate change, but to embrace it, be open to it and seek it out. It may mean dropping one of your original products from your lineup – the one that your father built the business on but no longer makes money. Or it may mean reorganizing your executive personnel or your sales staff. It may not be as exciting as watching your fantasy QB throw seven TD passes, but seeking and embracing change is the way that businesses succeed today. And that’s no fantasy.
President, National Precast Concrete Association