Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cheaters Never Win -- Still!

I was in Washington DC this week and was in between visits with Congressional members on Capital Hill when I walked by Roger Clemens. He had just finished the committee hearing regarding his alleged use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. Surrounded by his security detail, it was clear that his world had been turned upside down.

Cheating will do that to you. Ask Mark McGuire and Rafael Palmeiro -- two other certainties for baseball's Hall of Fame who will likely not get the nod following their infamous moments on "The Hill." It is little wonder that Clemens is fighting the allegations as hard as he is. His high-priced lawyers will likely do anything to preserve his reputation and distance Mr. Clemens from the damaging testimony in the Mitchell Report.

Over on the Senate side of Congress, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was meeting with US Senator Arlen Spector about the "Spygate" episode involving New England Patriot's coach Bill Belichick. Seems this wasn't an isolated incident in which the Super Bowl coach was caught video taping an opponent's signals. There appears to be a lot more to the story there.

Now we can debate whether there are more important things our elected officials should be doing than investigating cheating in sports. (Would you rather they were figuring out another way to get more of our paychecks?) But it is important that someone shine a light on cheating in a profession that many of us care deeply about -- sports. If they are cheating, let's be glad that someone is doing something about it. And it appears that the sports themselves appear unable or unwilling to do so.

Nope -- cheaters still never win. There are better ways to make a buck. We can do our jobs without taking shortcuts. We can win without risking our reputations -- and those of the teammates with whom we serve. We can keep things in perspective and remember that short term victories can be lost in a second if they are not gained fairly. And we can face our accusers without throwing our wife under the bus (a real class act, that Clemens!).

Let's make a case instead for the use of these performance enhancers, in sports or in business:

-- Hard work

-- Open, transparent communication

-- Disciplined people, disciplined organizations

-- Diversity and Equal Opportunity

-- Empowerment

-- After Action Reviews

-- Morning Huddles

-- Leader Development

-- Milk (still a legal performance enhancer, despite the accusations in this video!)

That's Leader Business!


Eric Peterson said...

Great post with a great message. It's very relevant in this day and age isn't it? With all the cheating, lying, stealing, fighting going on in the world....It almost makes you wonder if we, as a society, still possess the traits of hard work, discipline, honor, integrity!

You bring a great message. It touches home to a lot of people!

Tom Magness said...


I'm still optimistic. These character issues are, I believe, in the minority. We just need to make sure we celebrate those who do the right thing. For every Bill Belichick and Roger Clemens, there is a Tony Dungy and Cal Ripken. For every Enron, there is a Chick fil-a! Keep fighting the good fight, my friend! Hooah!