Tag Archives: basketball

Managing By Cliches, Part 4: Mean What You Say

When advising management teams that are considering new policies, I always ask them to consider one question: “If your star employee violated this policy, what would you do?”

One of BYU's star players violated a sacred university rule -- and the school stuck by the rule, to its short-term detriment and long-term acclaim

If the answer I get back is hemming and hawing and ultimately a sheepish, “Well, honestly, we’d probably look the other way or give him another chance,” it becomes clear that, at the very least, they shouldn’t state the policy in absolute terms (i.e., no use of the words “never,” “always,” and the like).  Better that they have a vague policy — or no policy at all — than that they have a policy that they know they’ll never really enforce (or won’t enforce for everyone, in any case).

To reduce it to its simplest element, it’s all about “meaning what you say.” If you write “never” or “always,” you better really mean “never” or “always.”  If not, your credibility (both legally and culturally) may never recover.  Quite remarkably, a story emerged from the sports world that illustrated the “mean what you say” proviso quite dramatically.  Continue reading

When Does “Loyalty” Turn Into “Insanity” (or “Hubris”)?

“They’re Not Really Re-hiring Him, Are They?!?!”

Welcome Back??

I was driving into work the other morning, listening to my favorite sports talk show when one of the hosts said something about “Isiah Thomas returning to the Knicks.”  “Nahhhh,” I thought — “that couldn’t possibly be right.”  But, amazingly, it was true.  This set me to pondering the question of “loyalty” (or perhaps, “blind loyalty”).  Where does it stop being a virtue and become something else — something that, when taken to the extreme, can end up “doing no one any favors,” as the expression goes?  And, taken far enough, can it really be a sign of hubris more so that a quality best exemplified by “man’s best friend”?

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