Disgraced NBA franchise owner Donald Sterling is finding himself sitting all alone: Perhaps he feels he earned the right to cheat and discriminate?
When is a wicked head/chest cold a blessing?
Today, I’m enjoying the unexpected consequences of an illness-induced slower pace. It’s just a cold brought on by lots of airline travel, heavy exposure to pollen and emotional ups and downs – but it caused me to approach three professional speeches with very little energy – with better results!
In pauses for coughing, drinking water and conserving energy, I unintentionally gave my audiences empty space to actually think about the “goodness pays” message. At each event, someone mustered up the courage to ask: “If goodness really pays, why do we seem to notice so many more stories of people lying, cheating or hurting people?”
Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart, Pete Rose and the newly disgraced NBA owner Donald Sterling, were top of mind examples.
I answered the questions with this analogy: Someone once confided in me he paid for a lavish golfing trip with his buddies on his firm’s professional development budget. His braggadocio justification stuck with me: I can do it because “I’m a road warrior for this firm, so I’ve earned it.”
It’s the word “earned” that scares me – I think it’s what gets in the way. My former friend sounded like Tiger, Lance and Donald Sterling. After decades of success, each of these four felt they earned the right to cheat and discriminate – that directly contradicts two of the cornerstones of goodness: living generously and promoting fairness.