I had to take the opportunity to jump onto the World Cup bandwagon. I’m not a fan of soccer. But, being a coffee guy, I am a fan of Brazil. However, I played rugby. There is a saying in rugby, “Soccer is a gentleman’s game played by ruffians, and rugby is a ruffian’s game played by gentlemen.”  So when I read the occasional soccer story, particularly when reading about fans, not to offend, but I set the bar pretty low. So with the World Cup being played, I decided to scan through the headlines, while looking for a riot story for my amusement, I was pleasantly surprised with the story of fans, that most, if not all would consider a class act.

I read the story about the fans of the Blue Samurai, and how after the disappointing loss to Ivory Coast they cleaned up after themselves, leaving their seats in a better condition than when they arrived. In the realm of sports fans, golf included, the followers of the Blue Samurai set the bar for class. Being around sports, either as a spectator or a player, there are certain attributes that give the reputation of the fan base that of a “class act”. (Just so you know, I’m an alumnus of Grambling State University and we set the bar pretty high.)

I am always looking for a lesson that I can use to make my business better, and there are several that I think I can learn from the fans of the Blue Samurai about class. And I think I can take from their example to help make Darrin’s Coffee a class act.

Because I think that the family at Darrin’s Coffee were born as “Class Acts”, I may interchange between Darrin’s Coffee and the Blue Samurai.

Class acts, exhibit a few very distinct behaviors.  They take responsibility for their actions.  They are honest about the results of their decisions and actions whether it’s a success or failure. The Blue Samurai lost that day, but their fans didn’t get upset, and leave the stands full of their distinctive blue trash bags hanging around or empty garrafes of Brahma.

They show respect and appreciation towards others. At Darrin’s Coffee, we appreciate and respect each other first, and because we do so, those behaviors will translate to our customers and their experience.

In difficult situations they remain calm and in control.  Now ANYBODY that’s been at the shop during Christmas in the Village or on a Saturday morning, can attest that it gets pretty crazy, and that can be difficult. There can be a NUMBER of variables that can cause things to get difficult and escalate very quickly. I’ve witnessed my team, not lose their temper or act out but are more likely to look to help others to assist each other as we go through the problem solving process. Baby, we breathe “grace under pressure”!

They have the ability to make others feel included and respected for their individual contributions especially during difficult times.  After the match, the team bowed to their fans. I mean those guys, LITERALLY BOWED to their fans, right before they started the cleanup. Class acts make others feel good about themselves and appreciated.

So yeah, I learned a little bit by paying attention to this World Cup. I’ve learned that maybe soccer fans aren’t so bad after all. But most importantly, I was able to look at those behaviors and I can see those traits in the family at Darrin’s Coffee. And I can say, they’re a group I’d call a class act! I’m just sayin’.



Class Act Fans of The Blue Samurai