Monday, January 21, 2013

Truth or Consequences

No, the title of this post is not designed to draw your attention to the game show of the same name, the New Mexico city of the same name, nor the 1997 neo-noir film of the same name produced by Kiefer Sutherland. Nor am I hear to rehash the thousands of articles and critiques of Oprah's interview of Lance Armstrong.

Yes, to tell the truth, there is a link to Lance but more so specifically about his years and years of denial and his sudden desire to turn over a new leaf. But on a grander scale, it has to come back to the truth and the consequences when we choose not to be honest.

I knew Lance when he first started racing. I knew what he could and could not do. One thing he could not do was go uphill. He hated it. So, after surviving cancer and going through rounds of chemotherapy he suddenly becomes an uphill rocket. Didn't make sense and, in my mind, I doubted that he had suddenly gone through this massive change without "help." But, like millions of others, I tried hard to believe.

After years and years of denial, lying to his fans and sponsors, and practically destroying anyone who said otherwise, he suddenly has a conscience. I don't buy it and never will.

Some of you may not know that I am a West Point graduate. As a cadet, we live by the honor code: "A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do." It is an honor code that we continue to live by long after we graduate. It becomes a part of our life. True, we are told that forgiveness is important and, at times, it takes a big person to forgive another.

However, in your business and personal lives, have you ever been lied to, cheated by or been stolen from? Unfortunately, as someone who loves the sport of cycling, Oprah's interview only reminded me how we must be on the alert when dealing with others. It also made me realize that, although not everyone has an honor code, in business we should have the guts to be honest with our partners and associates.

How did you feel when you found out you were misled? Did you feel angry, sad, upset, or perhaps like you were punched in the gut? I have and it isn't a pleasant feeling.

As much as we want to believe the best in others, it is sad that we still have to exercise some caution in others, with whom we trust to do business. Or, in Lance's case, we all wanted to believe so badly that he was telling the truth.

But, when someone catches you not being honest, how will you react? How have you reacted? Will you forgive Lance and hope that perhaps this will actually be good for cycling? What about the next time you get misled in business?

Just something to think about. Let's move forward and not give Mr. Armstrong any more time than he has already been given. Hope you all have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it all boils down to a single point, regardless who we are, or with whom we're dealing at any time: the Truth. I'm not a relativist; never will be. It's just that the truth is the same for all when it's absolutely, unequivocally the honest truth. Too bad for LA; he chose to dance with the devil, and in the end, sooner or later when you choose to cross that line, you (and everyone with whom you were dealing) is a loser.