The New Orleans Saints Predicament

The Saints finally won their first game this last weekend, and although I am happy about the fact that they finally got a win I think it is a great opportunity to talk about one of the most important lessons in business that the New Orleans Saints have helped illustrate.  I am not sure whether the fact that one of the best teams from last year was 0-4 before this week was more about Karma or disintegration of team chemistry.  I think both issues stem from what has occurred in the offseason for New Orleans.  Whether you agree with the penalties imposed on the players and coaches from last years “Bounty Scandal” is irrelevant.  What is relevant is that the event itself has obviously created major issues for the team and the organization.  Most people who are Saints fans say that they are just the only ones who got “caught” doing what several teams and players around the league have done for years, which is trying to intentionally hurt players on the opposing team.  The fact remains that they did get “caught,” and now they must not only accept the punishment but they must also accept the “grey cloud” that is now obviously hanging over the team like a hurricane hanging over New Orleans.  I learned at a young age from my father that “you are only as good as your word.”  This has been one of my guiding business principals throughout my career.  You have to be honest and ethical in business and in life when it comes to your interactions with others.  There is nobody who enjoys winning more than me; in fact most people who have competed with me would probably say that I am not a very gracious loser.  However, I also play by the rules and I do not want to win at the expense of others.  This is where the problem comes in for the Saints through this entire ordeal.  Having a “winning at all costs” attitude is not the answer to ultimate success and long term prosperity.  How you treat people including your competitors will eventually come back around to you, and to me that is why this VERY public example that has been made of the Saints is such a good reminder of how important this lesson can be for you and your business.  For years my dad had customers who would drive past several of his competitors to come do business with him, because of the way he treated people.  I have adopted these early principals I learned from watching my father in my businesses today.  I want to win, in fact I want to win more than most people and competition was one of the things that attracted me to the Direct Sales industry.  The lesson I have followed, and continuously taught to my teams is: there are no shortcuts in life or business, and when you are considering playing in an unfair or unethical way think about the future implications not just the current situation.  We will see where the Saints wind up at the end of the season, but my prediction is this will be the first year we will not see the Saints in the playoffs in several years.