One about pedestals

This will probably be my only World Cup blog. I’ve avoided using a football term in the title to hopefully avoid the accusations of clickbait. My last blog was on what behaviour we excuse due to being far too generous to people with charisma. This is about a similar theme… Generally I think there is a bit we can learn from sport – but if you are listening to a top athlete telling you how to run a business it’s always worth checking how well they’ve run a business – specifically one that isn’t based on them being a former top athlete.

There is a link between star performance and character that is assumed and unhelpful. Following Ronaldo’s hat trick in the opening round of the World Cup there were a number of pictures/videos shown of Ronaldo with two children looking up to him. Those pics were accompanied by text talking about role models and heroes. How important it is for people to have someone to look up to.

Ronaldo had been convicted of tax evasion on that same day and given a two year suspended sentence.

I wouldn’t want my child looking up to him just because he can take a free kick or even because he has a great work ethic.

Football is/was supposed to be a sport of the people, yet here we have one of the world’s richest athletes failing to pay tax and this comes hot on the heels of refusing to acknowledge the contribution of a colleague (Gareth Bale) in winning Real Madrid’s latest trophy. Yet he is still a hero… This is what a hero sounds like…

“Who has the most titles and who has the most goals? The Champions League should change and be called the CR7 Champions League.”

“I have won five and I am the top goalscorer again, so I cannot be sad.”

Ungracious, selfish, uncaring and law breaking. They aren’t typical traits of a good role model – but as long as he can take a good free kick…

We need to be careful with our role models. We need to help others reflect on them too – both in and outside of work. Do people stand in awe of people who are ‘successful’ or think about whether they did it the right way. Understanding the flaws and composition of our role models is as important as anything else.

Pick your friends, fights and role models carefully.

(and I know he does a lot of good work for charity…)

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