As a television show, audience had the stereotypes reinforced in the earliest episodes. The blue collar team perceived themselves as hard workers and “grunts on the ground,” willing to do whatever was necessary in the wild. The white collar team couldn’t manage to get a fire going, an essential for cleaning, cooking, and so forth. The carefree group wasn’t worried about who was in charge or when things got done. With their fire started, they preferred to take it easy. You get the picture.
Just in as in real life, misconceptions abound. White collars proved quite capable in physical challenges. Blue collars had to make hard decisions and think ahead. And the carefree world of no collars found tension and emotional baggage in struggling to play the game.
Survivor is about winning a million dollars. Strategy, power, and politics play out everywhere. As people are voted off and teams merge, new social maneuvers must be developed and new alliances created.
So what are the real differences between white collar and blue collar and no collar types? I believe much of it is centered in the power to make decisions and live a lifestyle of your preference. Thus, the real color of your collar may have a green tint: money.
As it’s commonly known, when management wants you to perform, it comes down to two things: more money and/or more power. Remove those, and you diminish perceived “collar” value as well.
Two events in sports over the past weekend provide an interesting illustration.
The NFL Draft was held in Chicago. Our city became Draft Town. In a period of three days, a large group of hard working, dirt churning, sweat generating muscle men transitioned from “blue collar” life into millionaires. While they will remain “under the thumb” of coaches and management, control over their lives made a huge leap.
The second event was the highly promoted boxing match of welterweights on Saturday night. A 38-year-old fighter, Floyd Mayweather Jr, defeated the 36-year-old Manny Pacquiao. The decision was unanimous.
Boxing is hard work. I mean REALLY hard work. The training would kill most of us. The actual fight would kill the rest. So you have to have a LOT of blue collar work ethic to win. And you have to be really good…to make a living.
The fight brought in an estimated $300 million. The Mayweather contract required him to receive 60 percent, win or lose. Let’s just say he won’t have to worry about the price of Jelly Bellies in the days ahead.
So as Mayweather takes the gloves off, do any labels come off? Is he a blue collar guy, or is he now white collar? Or no collar? He could buy his own franchise or start a thousand companies where he’s the boss. In the case of both fighters, money has given them leverage over life.
For these new NFL draftees and those boxing professionals, their success came after hard work and listening to tough taskmasters. All true athletes know success requires regimen and training, discipline and following orders. So do military men and women.
There is more to say on this topic, which I will address in my blog two weeks from now, Lord willing.
In the meantime, here is another tip from a “spiritual leadership consultant” known as Peter. He writes, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.” (1 Peter 2:18, ESV)
Ruminate on that for a while. And then we’ll get back together for Round 2 in a couple of weeks.
Ding! There goes the bell.
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