When you put winning above people you open your organization to a corrosiveness that can spread like cancer. — Valorie Kondos Field, author of Life Is Short, Don’t Wait To Dance.
Winning is not limited to sports, and whenever we put winning above people, Valorie Kondos Field is right — you open yourself and your organization to a corrosiveness. Coach Field knows this from her own experience, when many involved in gymnastics ignored or looked the other way to abuse of children. It seems like every year a college or university must clean house after a scandal when the organization put winning above all else especially people.
Words like winning, success, victory, can come at a very expensive price if we put the goal ahead of people. I have worried for the longest time about a politics when I hear, “any means are justified by the end.” One of my favorite quotes is found in Richard Bode’s, A Man For All Seasons, when Sir Thomas Moore asks young Will Roper would he cut down all the laws of England to get at the devil, and Roper says yes. Moore then says:
“Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”
I have prayed and thought a lot about what steps I can take to calm the winds of hatred blowing across the country. In doing so, I am constantly reminded to not let my goals cause me to lose sight of the means I use to accomplish such worthy goal. If I don’t, I risk corroding my own soul.