In Plain Sight Behind Closed Doors

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Kansas City Chief in an exciting National Football League playoff game, sending them to the AFC Championship match up against the New England Patriots. After the game, Head Coach Mike Tomlin gave a rousing speech to his team; full of praise for their efforts and encouraging them to now move on and pull off the upset of the favored Patriots team the next week.

Coach Tomlin’s inspired words included a few expletives and exhortations that are normal in post-game locker rooms at any level of play. They are normally expressed behind closed doors and private. That’s what Coach Tomlin thought they were. Turns out that star player Antonio Brown was off to the side of the locker room recording everything on the moment on Facebook LIVE for the world to see.

Aside from the fact that it’s a violation of both team and NFL rules, there are huge issues here that pertain to your business.

  1. There was a well-communicated rule about the privacy of the locker room. What’s said within the walls (before the press is allowed in) was for those players and coaches. Brown blatantly and selfishly violated that rule using a live stream social media platform. What rules do you have about privacy in your company? What rules apply to the sharing of: employee compensation, bonuses, disciplinary actions, intellectual property, proprietary information, client and prospect lists, technology, and other “classified” materials? How do you know your “locker room” is safe?
  2. If you’ve seen the stream (now playing at your local Internet), you see Brown is around the corner from the coach and other players. He’s not listening or being part of the team. He’s more concerned about preening in front of the camera for 18 minutes (45 seconds of Tomlin’s speech included). While your employee meetings may not use the same format, how many of your employees are listening when you speak? Ever see any vacant eyes, distracted stares, peeking at text messages and email under the desk? 
  3. Antonio Brown is one of the star players. From all I’ve heard, he’s a hard worker and good teammate. He got caught up in the moment, thought of himself first, and then willingly broke rules. How many of your best and brightest employees are capable of bad behavior that could damage your company in some way? Don’t say “none.” I’ve had a situation where a client’s bookkeepers stole tens of thousands of dollars from under his nose over the course of several years before getting caught. Smart and successful business owner (just as Tomlin is a smart and successful coach) who placed trust in someone.

Here’s today’s takeaways:

  1. Don’t get caught being looking behind every rock for an employee behaving badly. The majority are doing the right things for you. However, being consistent in your message about what is expected and required is critical; even if you think you’ve got it under control.
  2. Your private company conversations, resources, information, etc. are all more at risk than ever. Cyber issues – whether it be crime or just social media – can put your company and your reputation at risk. You need to have a plan.
  3. Develop strong leaders to police yourselves. Give them autonomy to be your eyes and ears.

For most small and mid-size companies, these actions rarely get taken due to time and energy constraints. This is an investment of your time, energy, and money. In order to avoid both your “dirty and clean laundry” from being exposed to the world (and your clients), then you need to create a resiliency plan. Doing this will keep you from yelling expletives in the privacy of your office!

Need help creating a resiliency plan to prevent and mitigate crisis, and protect your reputation and profits? Contact me at (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com and let’s talk.

 

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

BeastMode Branding Brilliance

BeastModeSeattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch “announced” his retirement on Sunday during the second half of the Super Bowl. And he did it in consistent fashion….without words. The entire staging of this whole event just goes to show how smart Lynch is when it comes to business.

It’s all about the brand, boss.

Here’s the deal – Lynch knows that today’s athlete is more than just someone who competes in a team or individual sport. Each athlete – especially the high visibility ones – are a brand. Brands have longer life spans than athletes; they can be forever. Brands are critical to obtaining endorsements, creating intellectual property, manufacturing and selling proprietary products, writing books, giving speeches, and a multitude of other things. The real “action” here is about advancing the brand. Here’s why BeastMode is so brilliant:

  1. He stayed consistent with his persona. Instead of holding a press conference with throngs of reporters, he tweeted out his signature green cleats hanging up – i.e. “I’m hanging ’em up.”
  2. He used only visuals. Heck, even is “peace out” was an emoticon.
  3. He “announced” during the biggest sporting event in the world – and it happened to be his world. Right in the midst of the Super Bowl, where everyone in the sports world in on Twitter, he subtly announces his intentions and it catches fire.
  4. Just days earlier, he had the grand opening of his new BeastMode brand store in the Bay Area (the same location as the Super Bowl).
  5. In the following days, both the team and his agent confirmed his intentions. No words from him…just the people in the know, assuming that the speculation was completely valid.
  6. Suddenly, there is a just a ton of buzz – gratitude overflowing on social media, highlight videos being created and promoted by the team to honor his accomplishments, and national stories circulating about his greatness.

Finally – and maybe most importantly – the timing is perfect. Let’s face it, Lynch will be 30 next year (ancient for running backs that have endured the pounding he has over the past 9 years). He just had his first major surgery and all signs indicate the team was moving on with a younger running back. Based on his personality, it’s unlikely he would find a good fit with any other team that has any Super Bowl aspirations. He’s saved his money brilliantly – reports are he hasn’t spent any of his nearly $50M earned from salary, living off his endorsement money.

Waiting one more year would not have advanced his brand; in fact the opposite was more likely. If he had an injury-riddled year, played poorly, was viewed as a malcontent, or even was just mediocre, his BeastMode brand suffers. If he walks away now, he’s still BeastMode. he’s a legend in Seattle and his hometown of Oakland and a sports figure that’s last memories are basically from the 2 Super Bowl runs where he played a dominant part.

Here’s your BeastMode lesson for the day – Build your brand. Be consistent. Make waves. Have others talk about you and your products or services. Create a buzz. Be visual. Be innovative. Be bold. Have good timing. Be BeastMode in your world. Be Unleashed.

Download the Periscope app on your mobile device and follow me @danweedin for videos and quick hitters to help you to achieve higher performance and stronger resilience.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Extra Points: Unleashed Resilience

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Unleashed Resilience
 

The NFL playoffs are fascinating. The entire weekend was filled with drama, big plays, and stunning comebacks. In 3 of the 4 games, teams made improbable charges to go from sure loss to having a chance at the end. While 2 of those teams didn’t end up prevailing, the “never give up” attitude was certainly on display.

Today, we as a nation honor Martin Luther King Jr. This is a man that also exemplified the “never give up” attitude. For nearly a full decade, he fought for equality in the face of immense turmoil. In the end, it cost him his life. In truth, the “game” didn’t end there. The seeds he planted grew into change for a country that needed it.

The lesson for each of us? Be ever vigilant; be ever confident; and never give up. Be unleashed.

 
Quote of the Week:
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Cool Factor

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Cool Factor
 

I recently watched a terrific show from the NFL network’s documentary series titled, A Football Life. The episode featured the life and NFL career of the late Ken “The Snake” Stabler. I remember vividly watching “Snake” tear apart the Seattle Seahawks and other teams during his fantastic 15-year career. What made Stabler stand out was his persona. Snake had charisma…he was known as a good old boy from Alabama that lived and played hard. He had swagger, bravado, and (most importantly) a cool factor. His former coach John Madden said of him after his death last summer – “In the big games, he was big. In the tough games, he was tough. In the hot games, when things got heated; he was the coolest guy on the field.” That’s why he was always known as a clutch player.

The very best in their crafts have the cool factor. They are able to stay calm in the midst of chaos and turmoil. When the conversations and emotions run hot, they are able to stay cool. Good decisions are made because the mind is able to slow down and be clear when everything else around them is seeming bedlam. They are clutch performers.

Kenny Stabler was able to keep his cool even under the intense pressure of big games and blitzing linebackers. How good are you at playing it cool when the heat gets turned up in your personal playing field? Do you succumb to the pressure around you or can you be as chill as “The Snake?”

What’s your cool factor? Are you a clutch performer? Make 2016 the year you resolve to consistently be both!

 
Quote of the Week:
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.”
~ Nikos Kazantzakis
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Can You take a Punch?

o-lineIt’s three days after an excruciatingly painful Super Bowl loss for my hometown team. The Seattle Seahawks and their fans basically took a brutal punch to the gut.

In the span of about 30 “real-time” seconds from the point where Marshawn Lynch was tackled on the 1-yard line to the fateful interception by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, we all went from the jubilation of winning the Super Bowl to losing. Cruel.

Now I understand that as a fan, this isn’t the most compelling crisis that’s occurring around the world. The measles outbreak in the United States; the terrorist actions around the globe; and the winter storm pummeling the Midwest and East Coast surely are weightier in a human perspective. That’s not quite the same for the players and organization, though.

For these people, this is their livelihood. Just as you and I go about our jobs and careers, this is their “business.” That not only includes high-salaried players and coaches; it also means the office and support staff in the building. It’s the equivalent of your company being “sucker punched” and having the entire organization in crisis-mode.

My question for you is – Can you take a punch and get back up?

The Seahawks now have to answer this question as an organization. The culture, the churn of players and coaches, and the overall mindset must stay resilient. There will be hurt feelings in the locker room. There is likely to be drama regarding new contracts offered, and others not offered. There will be that lingering feeling of opportunity lost that never goes away. Leadership and communication is critical to being able to take a punch and stand back up for them.

The same is true for you in business and in your personal life.

There are two important aspects to this resiliency. The first is physical. Do you have processes and redundancies in place to overcome a physical disaster like a fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake, or loss of power? Is your insurance adequate to replace and repair property? Do you have a plan for staying open in the interim period? These are all questions that good business leaders deal with in advance.

The second aspect is more challenging and more important.

Resiliency is easy when fixing property – homes, equipment, buildings, computers. Fixing the emotional side is harder – loss of confidence, depression, distraction, fear, sense of loss, and uncertainty.

Great leaders can do this knowing 3 important things:

  1. It will take time. I know we all like to fix things fast. Emotional resiliency requires some level of grief, understanding, and perspective. It can’t be rushed, only lightened.
  2. It requires constant communication from the top down. Candid, real, and transparent communication.
  3. It requires trust. Sometimes in crisis, trust is lost, or at least damaged. In order to rebuild trust, you must enhance organizational culture.

Bottom line- we will soon see of the Seahawks are able to take a punch and pop back up. Based on experience, I’m certain they can and will. What about you personally and professionally?

Can you take a punch?

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserve

My Super Bowl Epilogue – Therapy for a 12 the Day After…

20140121-162057.jpgI’ve been asked my many of my faithful readers what my thoughts were on the end of the Super Bowl. They were surprised that I didn’t vent on my Extra Points, but that edition was written long before the game.

When I coached high school basketball, I had a 24-hour rule (especially after losses) on making statements to avoid allowing emotion take over. This one hurt…bad. Heartbreaking, tragic, and any other adjective on that level applies to me and my fellow 12s. There may even be a few lessons on leadership and management for all of us. You never know. So here it is…

Full disclosure…I expected and wanted Marshawn Lynch to carry the ball on 2nd down on the 1-yard line to score a go-ahead touchdown and win the Super Bowl. It’s what I (and about a gazillion other people including the Patriots) expected to happen. I still think it was a tragic error by Pete Carroll to call for a pass in that situation. But then again, I would have kicked a field goal with 6 seconds left in the first half. Which leads me to my first point…

  • You can’t have it both ways. Head Coach Pete Carroll has always been a gambler and as much as we sometimes cringe, we more often than not have ended up on the good side of the score. Have we forgotten last year’s 4th down completion to Jermaine Kearse for a touchdown against the 49’ers in the NFC Championship game that ended up being one of the critical game-changing plays? How about the fake field goal just 2 weeks ago versus Green Bay that resulted in our first touchdown? You live by the sword and you die by the sword. In truth, his instincts have been right more often than not.
  • Calling a pass in that situation (although I’m on record that I wanted the run) isn’t crazy. In fact, it’s a good option at that point with only one timeout left. My issue is the pass play itself. If you’re going to pass, put the ball in your point guard’s hands (i.e. Russell Wilson) and give him options to throw or run. Eliminate the necessity of perfect timing and a bunch of bodies clogging up the middle of the field. I watch every Seahawks game and I think they are more effective passing the ball in from the 1-yard line than running it. My issue is with the play.
  • Pete Carroll was right. The call was set up perfectly for the defense. If you watch the experts on ESPN or the NFL Network diagram it out, it was set up for success. Here’s my issue – I believe more in players than plays. If you have Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant running that route, fine. With all due respect to Ricardo Lockette, we don’t have that guy. The timing of the play requires that Wilson throw to a spot. Kearse didn’t get his job done in rubbing off the cornerback that eventually picked it off. The failure was in the execution and that happens when you put your trust on the play and not your best players. Our best players are Lynch and Wilson. We needed to give them the opportunity to win the game for us.
  • Let’s give a lot of credit to two Patriots on that last play – Malcolm Butler and Brandon Browner. Browner stood up the smaller in stature Kearse (in my opinion a coaching gaffe to have him there) and didn’t allow the legal pick. Butler, an undrafted rookie, made a brilliant move beating Lockette to the ball and then hanging on to it. That was an unbelievable play by him. Wilson’s ball was too high and needed to be in a spot that only Lockette could catch it. Give Butler credit for making him pay. Those guys on defense get paid, too. They out-executed us on that most important play and it won them a championship.
  • Pete Carroll took the blame. That’s what good leaders do. Russell Wilson took the blame, saying that he threw the pass. That’s what good leaders do. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Ricardo Lockette could have fought harder for the ball (twice). That’s bogus. While he may be entirely right, he threw his player under the bus. Lockette is a backup that makes his living as the gunner on special teams. He’s not even your best wide receiver. He’s good, but not special and that play required special. Bottom line is that even if you’re right in your assessment, you take the blame. That more than anything else can lead to dissension in the ranks. Bevell is not ready to be a head coach.
  • I read and hear people bashing the defense for their 4th quarter performance. The Seahawks were 18-0 heading into this game when leading by at least 10 points in the final quarter. Now 18-1. Here’s the deal – first of all, the Patriots are good. Really good. They have one of the best quarterbacks of all time and outstanding skill receivers. Second, I literally gulped when we lost Jeremy Lane. That was a huge loss because now the Hawks had to move Byron Maxwell into the slot and leave Therold Simon out there against these terrific wide receivers. Advantage Brady. Two of the touchdown passes (including he final one) were thrown against Simon. Third, losing Cliff Avril to a concussion was brutal. We lost our outside speed rusher and from that moment on, we never put the same pressure on Brady.
  • Injuries are part of the game, but let’s be candid here. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor were all banged up and not nearly close to 100%. You lose Lane and Avril during the game. The guys coming in are doing the best they can but it’s not the same. Brady will find weaknesses and exploit them. It’s not dissimilar to benefiting two weeks earlier from a gimpy Aaron Rodgers. The defense wasn’t the same because, well…it wasn’t the same.
  • I was asked about the mêlée at the end and must admit I wasn’t watching it live because I was off in the corner throwing my own little private tantrum. Let’s face it, highly charged guys in the heat of the moment can get into very emotional states at the worst time and that is unfortunate. For his part, Bruce Irvin issued an apology. What Doug Baldwin did earlier was indefensible. I like Baldwin a lot and have every time come to his defense, but on his touchdown celebration antic, I can’t. It hurt his team and it was embarrassing to the organization and the city. Knowing him to be a smart guy, I doubt it will happen again.
  • I look back at how close Marshawn was to scoring on the play before the interception. When he hit the 3-yard line, I thought he was in. Someone made a great tackle and isn’t getting credit for saving the game for the Pats. Damn.
  • If I hear one more knucklehead conspiracy theorist imply that the coaches actually decided to not give the ball to Lynch because they didn’t want him to be the MVP, then I might actually internally combust. These people are either still drunk, ignorant, or need concussion testing. C’mon, man.
  • To a fan with no dog in the hunt, it may have been the best Super Bowl of all time. That is of no solace to us on the losing end; in fact it makes it worse. This loss doesn’t sting. It hurts like a Kam Chancellor hit to the gut. You don’t get chances to make history all the time. It may never happen again. The NFL is set up for “anti-dynasties.” It will be hard to get back here again next year. I think I now know how Boston fans felt when the ball went through Bill Buckner’s legs in the 1986 World Series or Buffalo fans when Scott Norwood’s game-winning FG strayed to the right in Super Bowl XXV.
  • I’m now way past “dazed and confused.” I’m getting over the “really, really angry” stage. Now, I’m just trying to gain perspective. All that within 24 hours shows some maturity and growth from me. Maybe that’s what happens when you get your AARP card in the mail.

My final thoughts – The coaching staff made the same mistake that many business people make. They were guilty of “over-thinking.” It’s always best to “stay in your lane” and do what you do best. The Monday Morning QB in me says you err on the side of winning or losing with your best players. With 26 seconds and one timeout left, you lean on Wilson and/or Lynch. If you’re going to pass, then give Russell options and outs, not precise timing patterns. That’s when he’s at his best. Damn again.

I know how much I am still hurting. As a former coach, I know it’s exponentially more painful for the players, coaches, and organization. It’s probably time for us soon to be part of the team and show them our support. You win and lose as a team. And we fancy ourselves part of the team, so time to act the part.

But (as a good colleague of mine always signs off with), that’s just me…

Extra Points – Never Give Up

This week’s focus point…Never Give UpJack and Dan

I admit it. I gave up. I was sitting forlornly at my brother-in-laws house with a group of people watching my beloved Seahawks losing at home in the NFC Championship game versus the Green Bay Packers. They’d played poorly. Nothing seemed to be working. And now with 4 minutes left, we had thrown another interception and were still down 9 points. It was over.

I won’t recount the crazy next 20 minutes, but the history books will show an improbable Seahawks victory in overtime. Listening to the post-game interviews from coach Pete Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson, and several other players; it was clear they hadn’t quit. They were going down swinging; they still believed. Until that clock hit zero, they truly never gave up. That’s why they are going back to the Super Bowl.

Never give up. Ever. No matter what happens in your life or your career, never quit. Life is short and the opportunities abound even in what seem to be incalculable odds. Football and all sports are a microcosm of life. I hear people say that sports aren’t like real life. I disagree. They are “real life” for all the players and coaches that make it their career. They are real life for the fans that follow them. Your career and life are just as “real,” and often face the same anxiety, stress, and challenges that face teams in games and seasons. That’s why no matter how bleak things may look, never give up. You never now when that winning touchdown pass will happen for you!

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

The 2015 Unleashed Executive Experience –Click here to learn more

Welcome to the most powerful and dynamic program I’ve ever created for business owners and executive leaders on unleashing your vast potential and maximizing your own unique talent and that of those around you.

My concept of the “open gate” is that unlike dogs, we as humans often tether ourselves inside our own personal gates and due to our own self-imposed limitations and fears, choose not to risk going through the open gate in front of us. The results include dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, poor leadership, bad morale, inefficiencies, and boredom. Bottom line is you and your business leave money and talent on the table.

 

Extra Points – Overcoming Adversity

This week’s focus point…Overcoming Adversity14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001

If you follow the National Football League, you’re team has probably been the victim or recipient of bad calls. As I rooted on my Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, we were beneficiaries of one that was instrumental in the outcome of the game. Looking back over the year, it’s probably evened out. One of the things I learned from coaching high school basketball for 8 years is that officials, regardless of sport, are human and make bad calls. Heck, as a coach I made a lot of bad calls! In the end, it’s not that it happened to you that matters. It’s how you respond.

“Bad calls” happen in life, too. Bad calls can be instrumental in your career and life as well. These bad calls can include – Illnesses and severe health issues for you, family members, or key business leaders; a business partner goes out of business or sells the company; a product you created causes damage or injury; or you might just have one of those “bad days” that leaves you disappointing, discouraged, and distraught.

We’ve all been preached to at some point that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” That’s easy to say when you’re not experiencing “tough” at the moment. In the end, you will best adjust and overcome adversity when you have 3 important characteristics – confidence, trust, and perspective. Confidence in your ability; trust on your ability to “win;” and perspective that allows you to be fearless and bold in the face of adversity. We all will face adversity and sometimes need to win against all odds. The championship teams and the championship people will always find a way.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 This week’s quote –
“Never mistake motion for action.”

 ~ Ernest Hemingway

Weedin Unleashed ~ Join my live, interactive, and FREE broadcast TODAY at 12 pm PST. Click here to join the conversation.

The 2015 Unleashed Executive Experience –Click here to learn more

Welcome to the most powerful and dynamic program I’ve ever created for business owners and executive leaders on unleashing your vast potential and maximizing your own unique talent and that of those around you.

My concept of the “open gate” is that unlike dogs, we as humans often tether ourselves inside our own personal gates and due to our own self-imposed limitations and fears, choose not to risk going through the open gate in front of us. The results include dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, poor leadership, bad morale, inefficiencies, and boredom. Bottom line is you and your business leave money and talent on the table.

How Not To Deal with Crisis: The Curious Case of Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

So you’re a business owner or executive and you want to handle a crisis with ineptitude and enrage your important business partners, all your employees, and your target audience, right?  Then study today’s press conference by NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell.

I’ve been a huge football fan and followed the sport since 1974 when I was 9 years old. Over the decades, we’ve all witnessed crises occur for what has become the premier sport in the United States. Never have we witnessed the erosion of trust that has happened only in the past few months, with a climax of a fiasco such as today. I have no doubts Roger Goodell is a smart guy. He just didn’t show it today.

Here’s how to mishandle a crisis when you’re the head of an organization and your world (whatever that might look like) is watching…

  • Start 15 minutes late. Really? You set the press conference. Show up on time. Not a good way to start.
  • The opening statement was as obvious as a ham sandwich. We could have all probably written it ourselves. Instead, make a brief (3 minutes) statement apologizing for past errors of judgement and open it up for questions.
  • Avoid answering Yes/No questions. When Goodell was asked if he had spoken to NFL sponsors, specifically Anheuser Busch. He never uttered the words yes or no, and proceeded to spin the case around to a point where everyone was confused and a follow up question about his communications had to be asked. His response? “You will have to ask them.”
  • Keep referring to your past statements. The commissioner answered almost every questions with, “As I just stated,” or “As I’ve said before…” Here’s the deal, Roger. You lost your right to fall back on past comments. You need to just keep answering what you have in front of you.
  • Be the ultimate spin doctor. One journalist asked about the comparison to his ruling on New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton after the infamous “Bounty Gate” scandal. Goodell blasted Payton for lack of control and suspended him for a year. When his lack of control was called into question, he began spinning like a Wolfman Jack in his prime, by not only avoiding any comments about the Saints and Payton (which was the question), and again explaining that he was going to fix everything.
  • Keep referring to your nameless “experts.” Goodell kept referring to the league’s “experts.” These are the experts that didn’t see a problem with him interviewing Ray Rice with Janay Rice (the victim) in the same room. These are the “experts” that are advising the NFL on how to move forward with a domestic violence policy. We should all feel better…
  • Deny, deny, deny. When asked about the report that the Atlantic City hotel confirmed that they were never asked for the video in the elevator by the NFL, Goodell said they had tried several times. So let me get this straight, the NFL says it asked on multiple occasions and was shot down. The hotel says they were never asked. The TMZ reporter in the crowd said they got it with one request. Someone’s lying. It’s clear, yet Goodell simply skirted the issue.
  • Avoid clearing up conflict of interest questions. Rachel Nichols of CNN is really good at her job. She asked about the independent investigation that appears to have more bedfellows than Wilt Chamberlain on a good night back in the day. She drew a correlation about conflict of interest with owners and law firms. Instead of hitting that straight on, Goodell seemed outraged that Nichols would call into question the integrity of a former FBI chief.
  • Show them you’re sweating. Speaking of Nichols, she really got under the Commish’s skin (which seems to be getting thinner by the day). You could tell his anger simply by his facial expression. You could also hear it in his voice when he tersely repeated her name, Rachel, when addressing her. I’m thinking there’s not going to be a Christmas basket sent from him to her this year.
  • Pick a time when you might be least hurt. How about holding a press conference on a Friday afternoon? That way, sports radio can’t blast it the next day. College football and NFL games take place over on the weekend. By Monday, it’s horror will have dissipated. This one may not…

Heck, throw in a clown from the Howard Stern show that makes a scene right in the middle of the press conference and is dragged away screaming “Not the elevator…don’t take me to the elevator!” (Mocking the ray Rice elevator incident) and you have the makings of a huge calamity. That was a nice scene…NFL bouncers dragging someone away in front of the nation.

Crisis communications is critical after a catastrophe. Ask former BP CEO Tony Hayward who publicly exclaimed that he only wanted to “get my life back” after the Gulf oil spill. He is toiling somewhere in Siberia now and it took BP years to regain its reputation. This press conference (Goodell was silent for the past 2 weeks, other than a CBS News interview) was a great opportunity to fix some real problems. Unfortunately, Mr. Goodell’s performance only exacerbated them. Football pundits and NFL players on Twitter widely panned it. The results are exploding in real time across social media platforms and television.

Crisis communications mean everything when it comes to protecting your reputation and brand. Your employees, your supply chain, your business partners, investors, and community count on you to respond quickly, be candid, admit mistakes, and express a plan. Although Commissioner Goodell did do some of those things, his ability to respond to questions with empathy and believability have deeply damaged his credibility. It will be interesting to see if he can survive this. In your business, you may not have the same chance.

Here’s one hint. Practice. If Goodell got advice, it was either not good or he didn’t execute well. You need to be prepared to face the music when it’s your crisis. Make sure you don’t get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct detrimental to your business. Goodell just got 15 yards and maybe more for his…

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved