In The Trenches

A Bit of Ping Pong

Published on February 3, 2020 Back to blog

This weekend, while my wife was away on a “girls’ trip,” my kids and I moved her home office to another location, and replaced it with a ping pong table. (She uses her work office and our kitchen much more than her “home office,” so it only seemed fair…). My 12-year-old son, Josh, believes that the ping pong table was purchased to feed his current obsession with the sport. That is somewhat true. But in reality, through his constant practicing and lessons at a local “club,” he has been beating me more often than not. And, the only way for me to change that is to play more (and learn all of his tricks).

Admittedly, I was not feeling great about this reversal of “Freedman Ping Pong Champions” (my son and I are both very competitive). However, I couldn’t help but compare it to what I would expect (and hope) for anyone who works for me. 

  1. Strive for excellence – Josh doesn’t accept mediocrity. When he finds something he enjoys, he seeks to be as good as he can be at it. Isn’t this what we want every employee to strive for? 
  2. Seek additional training – Clearly, Josh knew that my skills were limited (a bit of an understatement). So, he actively searched for additional training which, fortunately, was just around the corner from our house. We don’t need “mini-we’s” – we need new levels of excellence.
  3. Have confidence/never give up – For a long period of time, Josh couldn’t beat me. But, rather than let that bother him, he persisted and was confident that, eventually, the tide would turn. Confidence pays off.
  4. Teach us – Lately, it feels as though every game with Josh is a lesson in serving, spinning and overall technique (and a bit of humility). And looking back, I realize he’s really been teaching me all along (I may have been just a bit to proud to admit it). We all become better as a result.
  5. Be humble – Ok, perhaps Josh’s “victory dances” and constant “win/loss tally reminders” do not fit into the “humble” category. But, then again, he’s only 12 years old (and I wasn’t so humble when I was on the other end, so I guess payback is a %&%^$.) That said, for those adults reading this, some humility would be nice. 🙂 

In short, I’m very proud of Josh, and hope that he can be a role model for each of us – and all those who work for us. While he may not go on to become a world-champion Ping Pong player, I’m sure that his talent will serve him very well in the future. (Did I mention he’s also on the verge of beating me in darts? What did I create?). 

Until next time…

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners