Monday, July 28, 2008

Hager Column: Thompson's Business Moves Questionable

I normally don't provide links to articles, but I read this article in today's Green Bay Press-Gazette. In it, Mick Hager, a business consultant, speaks objectively about how the Packers have handled the whole Favre situation.

He is critical of Thompson, but doesn't come off as one of the "crazy Favre fans". In fact, he claims in the article that he's not even that much of a Packer fan. His critique is purely from a business perspective.

The link to the article is here

And here are some selected quotes from Mick. Take it for what it is worth, but it sure rang true with an article I wrote not too long ago.

From a leadership perspective, I was extremely disappointed that you decided to speak out when you did and even more disappointed in some of the things you said. First of all your timing was way off. You need only look to Vince Lombardi for advice on this one.

The greatest man to coach this game would probably have said this to reporters, "I haven't talked to Brett (Favre) and more importantly we haven't squared this thing up yet, so get the *&%$ out of here with your questions until we do."

The point here is: Vince knew when to talk to reporters and when to keep quiet in order to maintain the integrity of a situation.

It would have been far better if you had maintained that you wouldn't disclose anything until you "squared it up" with Brett. People may not have liked your answer, but they certainly would've had no doubt about your respect for him and the situation.

Mike Vandermause finally edged himself away from the Thompson altar and conceded in his article today that while Favre has certainly done his part, the Packers organization has demonstrated a lack of communication to boot.

When Favre isn’t throwing one of his former colleagues under the bus or divulging private conversations to the entire nation, someone in the Packers organization is taking veiled shots at Favre by uttering self-serving references about taking the high road.

No one is above reproach in this untidy affair, and there will be no winners when it’s over. We will be left to sift through the ashes and scorched earth.

How could such a wonderful relationship, involving arguably the most popular and best player in franchise history, degenerate into such an ugly mess?

If neither side has the fortitude to address difficult issues, it’s not surprising their relationship is on the rocks.

Had Favre and Thompson been more forthcoming with each other, the controversy swirling around the team could have been avoided.

Hager continues by pointing out strong leaders rise in the face of adversity, not shrink away and make excuses.
Secondly, you didn't do the Packers any favors by sharing how troubled you were and how difficult the situation was — anybody following it probably knew that. Perhaps, you were trying to garner sympathy, but given the circumstances you inadvertently showed that you're not a strong leader. Effective leaders don't show such weakness in the face of adversity, they show strength, genuine concern, humility and resolve. The measure of a leader isn't found in the good times but during the worst possible situations.
You can take these quotes for what it is worth: some selected quotes by a blogger trying to prove some point. But, that point does bear consideration. Thompson may keep claiming that he's making his moves for "the greater good" of the team and its future, but there is always room to question the "how" in making that greater good a reality.

Thompson is paid an awful lot of money to lead this franchise. Yes, Brett Favre has made this situation difficult, but it is during difficult times that leaders rise above it.

Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.

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