We currently have a very dark cloud hanging over the head of every Arkansas Razorback fan, a spouse, children, a fiancée and anyone with Arkansas ties. It was placed there by our highest paid state employee, Head Coach Bobby Petrino and his employee, Jessica Dorrell. There is no need for animosity towards each other because of how we believe it should be handled. That’s not our role in this situation.
This dark cloud was created by the choices of two people and as usual, bad choices will eventually land your ox (or Harley) in the ditch. As Mr. Long stated in the news conference, there is no committee. He will ultimately make this decision and We aren’t He. Hang with me. I want us to agree on something.
Point # 1. In most decisions or choices in life we are given two very visible options. Yes or No? Left or Right? Up or Down? Let me throw in two more options. Selfish or Selfless? A selfish decision considers ME and ME only. What I want and what I think is best for ME right now. A selfless decision considers the impact on others. Most people with high integrity will realize that a decision that benefits others will in turn, benefit them also. Can we agree that normally there are two routes and one is selfish and the other selfless?
Point # 2. Every decision Bobby Petrino and Jessica Dorrell made in the creation of this dark cloud was selfish. No one else was considered. The consideration of a spouse, fiancée, child, university, state or fan was nowhere in site. Don’t you just hate it when a decision impacts you and you are not consulted? (Sorry, don’t have time to talk about D.C. and politics.) None of us were even a glimmer in their mind. Can we agree that all decisions by the two parties were totally selfish?
I could go all HR on you now and talk about the Seven Tests of Just Cause but I’m sure Mr. Long will spend time with these this weekend. As I said, I am not on his committee.
Here is the book that I highly recommend reading quickly, “How Do You Kill 11 Million People” by Andy Andrews. It will make you see this and many other situations in a different light. He asks you to find a point of agreement. Hopefully we’ve already found two. He will ask you a question, “Can we agree that it is wrong for people to lie?” Hopefully, that is agreement point #3.
He also asks another very powerful question. Each of us that have ever stood on our feet and yelled Wooooo Pig Sooooie need to look in the mirror and ask ourself this question. Be truly honest. “What are your standards for being led?” Well, what are they? This answer will determine many decisions and directions in your life. I highly recommend this book. It has greatly influenced my thought process and finding mutual ground.
How high is integrity and character on your life priority list? Are they above or below winning football games? How high have you set your bar on integrity and character? Can you drive a semi under it or barely slide your debit card under it?
Friends, this is about more than football. This is about more than recruiting, donations or attendance. It is NOT about an inappropriate relationship, judging someone or second chances. It is about the seeds we are planting. Our direction on this will make a very important entry into our Life Resume. I promise you, Jeff Long is thinking about more than just next season.
Now, fast forward 20, 30 or 50 years when many football seasons have passed. Remove your current emotions and add a few gray hairs. Now imagine your grandchild reading about this dark cloud and asking, “Grandpa or Nana, how did you feel about this? How do you feel about integrity and character? How important are those things to you?” Moment of truth. Careful, you will be planting a very important seed in your legacy. In fact, don’t fast forward. Hit the pause button right now. How do you feel about integrity and character right now and what are your standards for being led? That’s what matters most, no matter how many candles were on your last birthday cake.
Thank you Andy Andrews for a great book.
Update – I have received a question; what does this blog have to do with leadership development and training? Integrity, honesty, character? To save keystrokes, let me just answer with a Harley Davidson marketing statement; “If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand.”>