Win, but at what cost?

With teams returning to office (RTO), I think it’s important to call out the pressure to perform. When evaluating a team, high performance and short-term results are often prioritized over all else. Here are two teams, taken from the sports world. Which team do you think is the better team?

Team 1  – 3 Championships in 6 years, HOF coach, highest attendance in the league, consistently drafts and develops top talent, most popular team in it’s city

Team 2 – Has not made the playoffs in 6 years, head coach recently banned from coaching, has traded away every 1st round pick of the past 5 years, terrible attendance, least popular team in it’s city

Pretty obvious right?

Well, it’s the same team. The 2010-2016 Chicago Blackhawks were considered a modern NHL dynasty. The 2022 Chicago Blackhawks are expected to be the worst team in the NHL.

During their first Stanley Cup playoff run, the Blackhawks failed to report the sexual assault of one of their young players by the team’s video coach, instead sweeping it under the rug so as not to diminish the luster of their championship and the praise from their fans, the City of Chicago and the entire hockey world.

They went on to win the Stanley Cup twice more. The victim was obviously never the same and went from a top prospect to out of hockey. The Blackhawks prioritized winning over integrity. It caught up with them. Their GM was fired. The head coach banned from coaching in the NHL ever again. Their reputation? Destroyed.

There is always going to be pressure to perform at the highest level, in almost every organization. But when an organization loses sight of what is “right,” not only will its reputation suffer, but those short term results that were so important will be negated by the reckoning that follows.

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