What young professionals can learn from Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch

Yesterday, I wrote about what young professionals can learn from Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. During the NFL’s annual Media Day before the Super Bowl, it was unlikely quote machine, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch that offered up some gems for young pros trying to get ahead.

The entire awkward exchange is uncomfortably hilarious to watch:

Lynch infamously avoids the media, unlike his boastful teammate. For introverts everywhere, “Beast Mode” as he’s aptly named, offered up a few unconventional gems for young professionals everywhere to take to heart:

I’m just about [that] action. You say ‘hut’ and there’s action. All the unnecessary talk, it don’t do nothing for me. I appreciate that people want to hear from me, but I just go to work and do my thing. You feel me?

The likelihood of Lynch being asked to appear on NFL Today when he retires is as close to zero as one can get. But there’s a lot to be said about doing your job without a lot of personal fanfare – and doing it well. If you’re “about that action” in the work place, you don’t have to be the most popular person at the job. When you do well and keep relatively quiet, everyone won’t notice you – but the right people will.

My fans love me regardless. They love the Seahawks. They aren’t worried about what I’ve got to say. They just want to make sure I show up to perform.

The beauty of being a quiet work horse is that your biggest supporters will give your work more credibility than you ever could. To bring this back to sports terms, some of the most memorable guys in sports – Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Larry Bird  – were phenomenal talkers. They also worked very hard and backed everything up. There’s no reason to be like Bird or Jordan if that’s not who you are. If you’re like Lynch, quietly build your portfolio (like the run below) and people line up to sing your praises.

On the importance of the Super Bowl: Every time I go on the field, boss, I give what I got. That’s just straight up.

As Richard Sherman noted in a recent piece for Sports Illustrated, the Seahawks have played 22 Super Bowls this season: “We went about the week before Super Bowl week as if it were any other game week. We didn’t paint the Super Bowl logo on the practice field or anything like that. We stuck with the theme of the program: Every game is a championship opportunity. We’ve been treating it like that for 22 games.”

If you treat every work day like preparation for your biggest work day and every time in front of your supervisors like it’s the biggest time in front of your supervisor, the actual big time will seem like another day at the office – because that’s exactly what it is.


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