“It’s the great temptation for small groups of people to slide into a state where they’re not quite telling each other the truth and they’re not quite celebrating each other. Instead, they tolerate each other, they accommodate each other, and they settle for sitting on the unspoken matters that separate them.”
The news is filled with the epic deception that Lance Armstrong thought he would be able to watch fade behind him over time. It turns out that the volume of evidence that showed he was only deceiving himself pushed him to the point of confessing his lies. Bike racing filled my life for about 20 years and it is a great sport. At the elite levels where the money is substantial the pressure to win at all costs looms large in the teams and in the riders. We see the same thing happening in any organization or institution where the pressure to succeed at any cost is evident. Banks push performance, Wall Street demands performance, and companies demand performance. At some point that performance has to be obtained by the leader or by their replacement. When failure is not an option people step outside of their authenticity and become someone else, often leading to their personal destruction.
Did Lance Armstrong do some good? He boosted the popularity of cycling in America and he provided resources for those who were dealing with the weight of cancer, both good things. His sponsors benefited, his coaches benefited and many other people benefited from the Lance persona and now that the persona has been found to lack integrity people want to distance themselves from him. In a culture of win at all costs things will spin out of control at some point. Do you find yourself in a culture of win at all costs? How does that impact you?
What would have been the price of honesty for any cyclist riding at the elite levels in the Tour de France? Would they be able to continue? Would they be able to find willing sponsors to support the costs of riding in the Tour? Is the price of winning worth your integrity?
The foundation of our society is based on truth, integrity and honesty. We trust that others will abide and live their lives in such a manner that we can know that we are engaging an experience where the interests of each person are not being taken advantage of, that promises made are promises are kept.
Here is one person’s take on the issue of deception and how lying can corrupt the soul and destroy a brand.
The biggest lies, take a look.
What are your thoughts?