Nate Davis’ column in today’s edition of USA Today (http://usat.ly/JdcLg5) raises the question as to whether former NFL Quarterback Kurt Warner is out of line with recent remarks he made about the NFL . The controversy stems from remarks Warner made when he said he wasn’t sure, given the current status of the NFL with the bounty scandal and the recent suicide of Junior Seau, that he wanted his kids to play football. It might also have something to do with an alleged bounty placed on Warner during the 2009 season.
The issue here now, as some suggest, is that it’s unfair that Warner profited from the NFL like he did on one hand, and speaks despairingly about the NFL on the other. In other words, he can’t, or shouldn’t, have it both ways. Some argue that because the NFL made him rich and famous he should tote the line and keep his mouth shut.
This raises a legitimate leadership question as to when it is appropriate to address valid concerns and when for the sake of “go along to get along,” one should remain silent. It’s not always popular to speak your mind or the truth as you see it.
Leadership expert John Maxwell said, “If you are going to take a risk, you need to put yourself on the line,” and this is exactly what Warner has done. I applaud him. After years of playing the sport and taking the hits, literally and figuratively, he has earned the right to express his concerns.
Wise leaders understand that there is a time and place for silence; courageous leaders know when it’s the right time to speak. Warner, I believe, has demonstrated both. What do you think?
© 2012 Doug Dickerson
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