Will You Forgive, Or Be Forgiven?
May 16, 2013Posted by james

There seems to be plenty of mea culpa along with requests for forgiveness these days in the sports world.

First, it was Tiger Woods.  Then, Michael Vick and this was followed by the Penn State matter. More recently, it has been Lance Armstrong and Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice. Between each of these incidents, there have been countless other athletes and coaches with far less star power but with the same need to request forgiveness for actions on and off the field.

These acts of contrition seem much more prominent than ever before. Could it be that instant and constant news coverage is pushing more of these episodes into the public eye?

Armstrong’s redemption might be elusive. He may have waited too long to reveal the truth. He cheated for years. He denied using performing enhancing drugs. He was adamant about his innocence, and he damaged the reputations of others who challenged him.

Working in his favor to reduce his public exile are his work to fight cancer, that he was just one of many elite cyclists who concealed doping and that he didn’t physically or financially injure another person (though he did take money for charity under false pretenses). Also working to his advantage are the many Americans who are involved in the drug culture and will not be critical of him. They include casual users, body builders on steroids, truckers on uppers and club hoppers on cocaine.

None of us are immune to personal or business embarrassments that we either create or have thrust upon us through our associations with family, employees, business partners, or clients. Luckily, for most of us, these failings will not make the news cycle. But, whether or not a personal or professional blunder grabs headlines, all of us must be prepared with a plan to address any slip-up with co-workers, business associates, clients, family and the community in which we live and work.

My recommendation is to own up quickly to any mistake. Be sincere with an apology. Engage in conversation with everyone who was affected or disappointed by your action. Show them that you have learned the error of your ways, and vow not to walk this same path again. Finally, do your penance and make the self-imposed punishment fit the crime.

If handled correctly, eventually you will redeem yourself. If you were a victim of another person’s poor judgment, only you can decide if the response was sincere. If it is, extend your hand in friendship and to show support.


Patience In Sports, Patience In Business
May 01, 2013Posted by james

It took five months, but the New York Rangers finally got their man.

The team originally tried to pry Rick Nash away from the Columbus Blue Jackets at last season’s trade deadline so he could help with a playoff run. They didn’t succeed with either.

Not until last summer was this talented young scorer dealt to New York, and the deal was a steal. The Rangers did not give up any core young talent, nor did the acquisition affect the team’s salary structure.

During his first season with the Rangers, Nash has delivered with goals, assists, crisp passing, defense and with some nifty moves with the puck. Unfortunately, other aspects of the team’s play were lacking as the team struggled to reclaim its dominant play of the previous season.

Looking back to when the Nash acquisition was first discussed between the Rangers and Blue Jackets, no one at the time was sure it would occur. The package of players offered by the Rangers had been rejected by Columbus. Neither side budged.

When Nash finally became a member of the Rangers during the off-season, the player package going in the other direction involved the same names that had been discussed earlier. The Rangers refused to sweeten the offer. Columbus relented when it realized that the Rangers’ offer for Nash could not be matched by any other team.

Frequently, sports teams and businesses will jump too quickly at an opportunity for fear of losing leverage or anticipating that a deal may collapse. When this occurs, the payment, in hindsight, often is found to be too expensive. Resources may become depleted, or the return on the investment may be diminished.

In this case with the Rangers, and in all matters involving business and personal decisions, patience is the key to turning a successful deal.