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‘Style is Not Something That You Do for Others’ — Tiki Barber’s Take

Personalized Sports Jersey
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While the reaction to Tiki Barber’s few first columns was tremendous, we thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stray from the sports topics and get the former NFL star’s take on a myriad of other issues. Today, Tiki answers questions about office attire, impossibly bosses and personalized jerseys. This is Tiki Barber’s Take. 

“I work in a very casual office but I like dressing up for work. I often feel out of place when I do. Should I ignore everyone else and dress how I want or follow the pack?” — Don, 24, New York 

I am definitely not a pack follower, so I would never advise others to do so.  There is a saying in the NFL that goes..”if you look good, you feel good – if you feel good, you play good – if you play good, you get paid good!”  Ha!

Style is not something that you do for others, it’s a personal expression of oneself, and the image or brand that you want to portray.

My advice…buck the status quo and let what will be known as your attention to detail define you.

“My boss doesn’t understand the idea of a vacation day. Even if I take the day off, he still calls and emails as if I’m on the clock. Should I say something?” — Phil, 31, New Mexico

It really depends on what type of company you work for.  If you are in a large company, then your work hours should be your work hours; however, if you are in a start-up, where the climate is more intimate and the viability of the company depends on every member being all in, I think that you have to willing to take work home.  Your future employment depends upon it.

I think the most important thing is to understand the expectation and have an open conversation with your boss about those expectations.

One of the things that I’ve learned both in sport and business is that things don’t happen just because you want them to or because you think that they should. Action is the only way to precipitate change.

“My friend has a closet full of sports jerseys but they all have his name on them. I think it’s stupid. How do athletes feel when they see stuff like that?” — Mike, 26, El Paso, Texas

I think it’s great that fans want to be a part of the team that they support.  As a former athlete, I love it, because I understand that the strength of our sport is derived from our fans’ willingness to become highly engaged, not only with their with eyes – read, multi-billion television contract – and their wallets – game tickets, jersey sales, memorabilia, etc.

I think there is a sense of ownership that exists among passionate fans, literally, their emotions can be affected by a great win or crushing loss.  So having a jersey and identifying with their team is simply an expression of their affinity and enthusiasm.

Got a question for the former NFL star? Send it to chris [@] guyspeed [dot] com.

Tiki Barber is the all-time leading rusher in New York Giants history and a 3x Pro Bowler. He is the co-founder and chairman of Thuzio, an online marketplace to connect the public with professional athletes for appearances, coaching, speaking and unique fan experiences. He was a correspondent for NBC and currently co-hosts CBS Sports radio’s weekday morning show. Tiki graduated from the University of Virginia with a concentration in Management Information Systems.

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