Sports, at the end of the day, should be fun--even in the professional ranks. After all, they do play “games” every night, don’t they? The difference is their games often come within a high pressure environment where winning is the primary goal. There’s not one blueprint for how to win.
Topics: Office Culture, Play, Team, World Series, Team Building, Creativity, Play at Work, Reflections, Ideas, Employee Engagement, Work Culture, Culture, Company Culture, Goals, Sports, Baseball, Learnings
Feeling excluded really stinks. That’s why it’s so often part of the story arc for high school cult-classic movies, and—on the positive side—one of the first lessons you learn as a kid. Exclude nobody and include everybody, always.
Let’s get one thing straight: Play isn’t just kid stuff. There’s a science to how we play, and it affects our lives in important ways—from how we work to what we find fulfilling. In fact, some social scientists suggest play might be the most important work we do.
Let’s get one thing straight right from the gate—general “aptitude” tests are kind of the worst. They ask a few multiple choice questions that attempt to boil down your personality and talents into a Bucket O’ Traits that apparently make you the right fit for a career path you may or may not be interested in.
It’s International Women’s Day, so we thought it was the perfect time to spotlight one of our favorite women, who champions PLAY in all its forms. She loves wordplay, hosts trivia, and, true story, even threw a field day as her bachelorette party. She’s a fierce advocate for women and girls in sports and a fierce competitor, too. So, we’ve got just 3 questions for our very own Kelaine Conochan, the National Marketing Director for ZogSports and ZogCulture.
After Netflix and Hulu dropped dueling documentaries, the world is on Fyre. At every office, coffee shop, and happy hour, people can’t stop talking about Fyre Festival. And for good reason—what a complete and unmitigated disaster.
I don’t usually care much for these designated holidays. But National Girls & Women in Sports Day? You got me there. I’ll play.
What are you grateful for? Something important like hitting a big anniversary with your significant other and realizing you still totally dig each other? Something smaller like that seasonal donut or latte you indulged in (followed by a great workout)? Barely catching the train and getting to work on time? Realizing your career has taken you on a winding journey and you’re happy where you are right now?
Gratitude is powerful. It helps positively frame our thoughts and offers perspective.
On the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, ZogSports founder and CEO, Robert Herzog, wrote the below letter to our community. As we reflect on our upcoming 15 year anniversary (ZogSports was founded in September 2002), we wanted to re-share his letter as a reminder of why we do what we do, and why each of you matter to us.
Every year, over one hundred thousand people play ZogSports. Most people play for the love of the sport, but the Zog impact is so much bigger than that. When we asked our community why they play, people shared everything from “Zog has given me a community” to “I can’t imagine not knowing the people I met playing with Zog” to even “ZogSports changed my life.” Our hope is that you, too, can build lasting connections and be a part of our caring community.
As we continue to grow with the launch of a new company culture business (more info coming your way soon), we’ll always stay true to our founding story and why we do what we do. Our goal is to create connections, build community, and infuse play into your life. We hope you feel this as part of our community — especially on a day like today.
Continue reading to hear from our founder and CEO on how we came to be and why our community is so important to us.
Reflections on 9/11 — ZogSports 15 Year Anniversary
Dear Zog extended family,
My thoughts are with those of you who lost friends and family on 9/11. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you. I want to thank those of you who have reached out to me this week. I’ve been touched by the stories that people have shared about the impact ZogSports has had on their lives and encourage you to continue sharing those stories with us.
As I personally reflect on the 15 year anniversary of 9/11, I am emotional and torn. On the one hand, I still think about how close I was to dying that day and how many people and their families were not as lucky as me. On the other, I think about how my post-9/11 epiphany to help bring people together and build community led me to create ZogSports. That in turn helped me and hopefully many others heal and brought a sense of normalcy and fun back to the lives of thousands of people.
After 9/11, I vowed that my life would never be the same and it hasn’t. If you don’t know it, here is the story of how I got there.
Story of My Close Call and Pina Colada Epiphany
Many of you have heard me tell this story. I got a new job as the VP of Operations for Marsh & McLennan’s internet group in July 2001. My office was on the 96th Floor of World Trade Center Tower 1 (North Tower). So on September 11, I got off the subway and came outside at 8:45am in time to hear a loud explosion, look up and see a gaping hole in the side of the building where my office had been. None of the 297 people from Marsh who were already at work survived. I don’t know how long I stood there, but after the 2nd plane hit, mass hysteria broke out and I ran. I met up with my girlfriend (now wife) at her office and we walked home desperately trying to make sense of what had happened.
There are dozens of things I did that sunny Tuesday morning that I usually didn’t do — many of which were because we changed our vacation in Yosemite National Park to the week after Labor Day (not before) because there were no accommodations available. I hit the snooze button twice, dropped off my laundry, picked up my held mail (and stopped to toss the junk mail), took the local C train instead of the Express (A) and numerous other small decisions that added up to me showing up 5 minutes late.
Three months later, I’m sitting on the beach with a pina colada in my hand lamenting about how terrible my life was: I closed down the internet company I was helping run, laid off 30 people who reported to me, was unemployed and then almost got hit by a plane. My glass was half empty. I decided to view it as half full. I thought about all the good things that had happened that year. I met my wife playing co-ed softball. I played in numerous other leagues and while I loved the sports and camaraderie part, thought that they were poorly organized and had disrespectful customer service. I could do better. Finally, I saw people like us being selfless and inspired to give back. That was the moment. I decided to combine sports, social and charity and create ZogSports. Our goal that day is the same as it is now — to create connections, build caring communities, and infuse play into people’s lives.
All of this inspires what we do every day and how we do it. I hope that as you reflect on the tragedy and loss of 9/11, you are comforted to know that we were there too and will continue to be here for you.
Thank you for being part our community.
Robert Herzog, Founder and CEO, ZogSports
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.zogsports.com