Management and Leadership Lessons From the Ray Rice Debacle

I don’t know if there have been some business pundits on Bloomberg or CNBC opining about what management and CEOs can learn from the Ray Rice episode (I’m sure our readers will let us know), but below are a few thoughts:

1. Get all the facts before you make a decision, and don’t be stampeded by the media (or even your own employees) into making a decision hastily.

2. Show some sense of history. If the issue has already been decided, as it was when Rice apparently talked to Goodell the first time, stick to that decision. It looks like poor Rice is getting double jeopardy from the NFL, having been disciplined twice for the same offense.

3. Canvass your board of the directors about what to do, if it’s unclear. There’s no evidence that Goodell had any interchange with the club owners, some of whom have apparently got the same problem, and could offer some advice. Goodell should have talked with the owners after the first episode.

4. If there’s no policy, put one in place, but don’t get stampeded by activists on that, either.. It’s hard to believe, with people engaged in a violent sport, and the NFL didn’t have a policy on domestic abuse. Each club should have one, too, and the club policies should change with circumstances (Adrian Peterson in Minnesota).

5. If your policy on something is clearly inadequate, by social norms, then change it. This is probably the one thing that Goodell did right. And the Vikings owner with Peterson.

6. Get some of your board to stick up for you…..we think Goodell has, on the whole, been a good commissioner. Everyone makes mistakes, media. Don’t get the lynch mob out for one mistake.

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