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Author: Dave Tabor

Part 2, Is There a “Continuum” of Honor? Only for most.

In my last blog post, I wrote about CU Buffaloes coach Mel Tucker, who left after one season to take a huge job coaching Michigan State. I asked, “Was Tucker’s move honorable?”  I’ve since had even more conversations with friends and family about this question.  Mostly, people deflect from actually answering the question about honor.  It’s too hard for us to judge others as dishonorable if we might act in the same way.  Instead they say, “Everyone would do that… YOU’d do that.”  Maybe I would have, maybe not – I honestly don’t know.

I do know that NOT EVERYONE would do that.

I have a good friend who DIDN’T.  He turned down an opportunity with massive and guaranteed financial upside because if he took it, his decision would have negative impacts on those to whom he’d made promises which he’d have to abandon.  I wish I could tell you the specifics.  I’d like to name him here.  I’ll tell him personally that I this is about him – and that I appreciate his honor.

Is There a “Continuum” of Honor?

CU Buffaloes coach Mel Tucker left after one season to take a huge job coaching Michigan State.  They doubled his salary (from a lot to “set for life”).  The job is way more prestigious and certainly will provide more opportunity for success.  It’s a job most coaches can only dream of.

Mel Tucker took the job AFTER recruiting a great class of new student athletes who bought into HIM, trusted HIM, and based their commitments on HIM.  AND he did this just a few days AFTER he very publicly proclaimed his commitment to CU.

Was Tucker’s move honorable?  I don’t think so.  But, I’m kind of squishy about this conclusion, because it’s a rational decision most of us would probably make if faced with the same scenario.  So, if most of us would do something that can be rationalized, does that make is not DIShonorable?

Camping in public spaces

The battle rages on: those for and those against the right to camp on public grounds in the city.  Today campsites were removed because rats are infesting the area.  I’m opposed to camping of this sort and am pretty sure that even most who advocate FOR public camping are only supportive as a way to apply extreme pressure to dramatically increase services for the homeless.

It’s a complicated problem, and I won’t attempt to weigh in with solutions.  My wife urges me to be positive so here it is:  I’m fortunate that I look at it rather than live in it.

SHOULDN’T I BE DONE MAKING MISTAKES? 

I was speaking with my adult son Matt, sharing that I find it perplexing and disappointing that at this point in my career, and in life, I still make mistakes, sometimes dumb ones.  Honestly, I really did expect that I’d have learned how things work and that most of my mistakes, especially the bad ones, would pretty much have ceased.   

Matt said, “but Dad, the world keeps changing.”   

That comment flipped my emotions 180 degrees with a great feeling of rejuvenation.  The path I’m on, while keeping me vulnerable to mistakes, also keeps me engaged and energized.   

 There are people who do what they can to stabilize: to isolate themselves, their jobs, their lives from change.  Others choose to be open to an environment that is changing constantly. I suppose in that framework my mistakes will continue. 

“Luxury Shopping with Purpose”

I saw this ad and it stopped me cold.  At first glance, I thought it meant that people were luxury shopping AS a fulfilling purpose in life.  “Wow,” I thought, “with the chasm between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ growing larger every day and the societal ramifications of that, this feels wrong.”

Intrigued (and not wanting to be off-base in this blog post), I visited the company’s website and learned that my first impression was mistaken.  The company sells luxury items and then donates 20% of the proceeds to worthwhile organizations that support girls.  The last line of their intro video says, “Your choice of where to shop matters.”  Another video says, “Improve the lives of children around the world by buying what you love.” In the video, the Olivela founder seems sincere, and I’m pretty confident that she is.  Certainly, it’s a much more authentic version of, for example, car dealers who say, “for every (name the brand) sold, we’ll donate $200 to (name the charity).”

But this whole trend of building a business based on the differentiation strategy of donating money – money spent by customers – really gives me pause.

I asked myself, why don’t I like it?

My conclusion is this… it’s the direct tie of donations to sales.

Contrast the above example to a company like Patagonia. Patagonia’s mission-driven approach (supporting environmental causes) is different because Patagonia doesn’t conditionally tie its good work to sales.  While Patagonia can of course conduct environmental efforts because of its customers, this is not its sales strategy.

If you are looking for purchases that improve the world, check out Colorado’s Women’s Bean Project.  And listen to the PROCO360  podcast episode with its CEO, Tamra Ryan.

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