Lessons from cricket

cricket .jpg

If you are Australian, you might have observed the recent 'pile-on' following the national cricket team's spectacular fall from grace. Three players, including the captain, were caught cheating in a game in South Africa. Not only did they cheat, but they were blissfully ignorant of how their adoring public would respond to their behaviour back home. 

Anyway, the penalties have been handed out, the public shaming almost complete, the appeals are underway, and the circus moves on, towards its next target. 

But here's the thing - if you've worked in a corporate environment, who amongst us can cast a stone. Like me, I expect that at some stage, your values were tested, and found to be wanting. Early on you might use naivete to defend yourself against your conscience. But a little later, when you had a bit more experience and authority did you ever accept a Manager browbeating or undermining one of your colleagues, and consoled yourself that no-one else stood up to him or her either? Or perhaps as a leader, you encouraged your team to suck up a business decision that was detrimental to them because you 'had to be' a team player (to your colleagues, not your directs). Or perhaps you were involved in a company that's business activity was legally right, but morally wrong?

If you are one of the rare souls who's never jeopardised your values, I honour you. On the other hand, if you recognise times of weakness with a degree of shame, and used them for professional and personal growth, then I respect you.

I'm not defending the cricket players - what they did was pretty bad. I'm also not down on anyone who has had to compromise their values down under the weight of corporate culture.  

But to those who are blasting the Australian team without doing an irony check on their standards in the workplace, by reflecting on the times they've walked past bad behaviour, or wilfully continued to accept something smelly because of job security or competition or culture, then, just, wow! 


Image by: Uday Kumar

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