Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Both Sides Now

Oh but now old friends are acting strange.
They shake their heads, they say I've changed.

It's funny how idealism and strong opinions on issues that seem so black and white when one sits on one side of the fence, become so entirely reversed when we find ourselves repositioned on the other side of that same fence. Consider the rank and file worker who gets promoted into a position of management. How quickly their opinions and outlooks can change. The once loud din of equity and fairness for the little guy can so easily become muted when they start to see things from a different perspective. The hard bottom line of profitability. The concerned grumblings of the share holders. Their own take-home pay.

I thought of this recently as I perused the sports page. The Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA have the worst winning percentage in the league at about 11%. The principal owner of this team is the legendary player Michael Jordan. In his playing career, Jordan railed time and again against his team's owner for not spending the money to bring in the appropriate supporting talent to keep his team in the hunt for a championship. Now, as an owner over the past several years, Jordan has traded away his brightest talents in the effort to reduce payroll to maintain profitability. I can't help but feeling that Jordan the player would not have recognized Jordan the owner, and, in fact, would have abhorred his approach from top to bottom.