“Sometimes the Right Thing is the Hard Thing”

The pro football season is upon us and one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year is the Green Bay Packers.  When thinking of the Packers I am reminded of a quote from my lean/business coach, Jamie Flinchbaugh.

Sometimes the right thing to do is the hard thing to do

Why do the Packers remind me of this quote?  After the 2007 season the Green Bay Packers management decided to part ways with Brett Favre after 16 years of service.  Brett Favre is a Hall of Fame quarterback that led the team to two Super Bowls and has numerous individual and team accomplishments.  Brett was one of the most beloved sports figures in sports at the time and the state of Wisconsin loved him.  Brett also had spent the previous two offseasons retiring then unretiring and stringing the management along.  He got a pass though because he was one of the greats of all time.

Understanding Brett Favre was going to retire someday soon the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 draft and let him learn under Brett Favre.

In 2007, the management had enough of not knowing what Brett was going to do about retiring so they promoted Aaron Rodgers to be the starter and cut ties with Brett Favre.  The management team believed they had a great replacement for the Hall of Fame quarterback, Brett Favre.  The Packers front office took a lot of heat from the local and national media for this decision.  The media essentially said they didn’t know what they were doing and made a huge deal out of the situation.

It is four years later.  The Packers won the Super Bowl last year under Aaron Rodgers guidance of the offense and the are the favorites to win again this year.  The Packers are a young team that looks promising for years to come.

It was not easy for the front office of the Packers to cut ties with the face of their franchise for over a decade.  They caught a lot of heat for it but they stuck to their decision and backed Aaron Rodgers.  Could it have failed?  Yes.  Nobody knew, but the management team was the closest to the situation and believed it was the right thing to do.  It by far was not the easy thing to do.

As humans we naturally look for the path of least resistance.  As lean implementers we look to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing impossible.  This makes doing the right thing easy.  But as we decide if we should changes roles or companies or have to deal with troublesome employees, the right thing is not always the easy thing.  We have to be prepared to do the hard thing and stick with our decision.  In my experience, if it is truly the right thing then everything works out well in the end.

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Posted on September 14, 2011, in Leadership, Misc and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Go Lions 🙂

  2. Great illustration, Matt. The right thing to do is often the hard thing to do.

    By the way, I’m heading to West Lafayette this weekend. Boiler Up & Go Bears!

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