Thursday, 3 May 2012

When to do the Right Thing

Nashville Predators G.M., David Poile, announced Tuesday morning that two of his top players would not be permitted to play in last night’s hockey game.  What was the reason for benching these two key players?  They allegedly broke curfew.  “The Nashville Predators have a few simple rules centered around doing the right things,” Poile said. “We have always operated with a team-first mentality and philosophy. Violating team rules is not fair to our team and their teammates.”

This is not a junior team who are trying to instill strict discipline on rambunctious young lads: rather, these are multi-millionaire professional athletes.  This is not the pre-season where winning doesn’t matter, this is a Stanley Cup quarter-final playoff game in which a loss means going down 3 games to nil; just one shy of elimination from the Stanley Cup dream.

Mr. Poile said “you always have to do what’s right,” and he did it at the most inopportune time imaginable.  If he allows the delinquent players to lace-up due to the gravity of their playoff circumstance and they win, then the offending players could claim that being out past the curfew didn’t affect their performance.  If he allows them to play and they lose, then management loses respect with absolutely no gain.

Benched, the two offending players would feel the gravity of their misdeed, through a loss.  If the team won without them, then they would be humbled.  I think in the back of his head Poile must have had an inkling that a win without these two stars, could turn this series around and give his team immeasurable inspiration in their quest for Lord Stanley’s grail.

For those of you who don’t follow hockey, I apologize for the analogy.  Here’s the point.  Doing the right thing at the worst possible time is the best form of discipline for yourself, for your staff or for your children.  Last night, not only did Nashville win, they shut-out their opponents by a score of 2-0.

The next time I’m tempted to baulk at doing the right thing because the timing is inconvenient, I hope I have the courage to act as David Poile did.

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