I tend to relate most things in my life to the nearly 30 years I spent in a locker room. I think there is an inimitable correlation between sports and business. I believe that each undoubtedly reveals the truly organic principles of competition and leadership, among other things.
I have recently been on this kick where I have felt the need defend the game of football and the business engine that it has become. Sports are a business these days, especially the NFL and NCAA, and we are talking about big money when it comes to these types of organizations and players. It’s truly the ultimate form of entertainment if you take an objective look.
I admire the folks that play and/or coach the game of football. Given my history with the game, I feel a sense of obligation to protect the epic history that it carries. That being said there are some things about this beautiful game that really gets my blood boiling. One of these things is this sense of entitlement and lack of accountability.
I have spent (and I’m sure I will continue to spend) countless hours in my career busting the myth that my generation is entitled. I’ve also spent countless hours in my career busting the myth that we are lazy, spoiled, disloyal, trophy kids. The list of negative qualities we possess goes on and on. You know the group. The Millennials.
As of recent, there has been negative media portrayal of this game I love. It seems to me that I can’t go a day without hearing about a player, coach, or program that has an undesirable and unflattering storyline attached to it. I’m not going to go into detail or namedrop, but if you take a minute to think about the game of football and the recent headlines I’m sure we’ll be on the same page.
It is my opinion that the recent highly publicized stories are an example of how we are failing in leadership. It is the role of leadership, also known as coaches, front office executives, and owners, to set the standard. It is the role of leadership to hold their followers accountable to the rules that are established and agreed upon.
We need to do better! We need higher standards to be upheld. We need more managerial courage. And we need to focus less on the bottom line, especially if that means putting our morals and beliefs as human beings in jeopardy.
As a former athlete and young professional who is trying to make his way in this competitive world, we must stop sensationalizing people because of their shock value and quit neglecting development because of one’s current position in the spotlight. This goes for football and business.