As a leader at some stage in your career you will be faced with the dilemma of making a tough call which you may not feel is the right thing to do but that the bigger picture or long term objective outweighs doing what is right.
One of the questions you will need to ask yourself is does the end justify the means, and will my decision in the short term actually be damaging in the long term.
I know when I was a leader in a previous role this was something which I had to face, and I learnt that even with the right intentions history may not judge you kindly if you don’t step back and see the longer term view.
I have been reflecting on this recently while watching my beloved game of Australian Football. I have no doubt that the administrators of the game love the game as I do, and act with best intentions. However the game of AFL has become so addicted to the TV rights revenue and ensuring it expands into NSW and QLD to obtain a foothold as a national game that many of its actions appear to lack integrity.
The game of Australian Football is special because it is indigenous to our country, but also it is a game for all classes, all physical attributes (small, tall, strong, fast etc), it brings country communities together, it has transformed the attitude of many Australians towards Aboriginal people, and is inclusive sport with high supporter base from men and women alike. I don’t know any other game in the world which has such a positive impact on its community and is such a part of the fabric of the community as Australian Football. Whilst I sometimes cringe at the feral behaviour of many of our supporters and some players, overall I think the game has a great impact on our society.
However observing the administration of the game you can help but think it many of its decisions are based on trying to provide a return for TV broadcasters, growing the game in non AFL states to combat Rugby and Soccer, and trying to appease the powerful Victorian powerhouse clubs given their power and influence.
On one hand I am supportive as I want to see my game survive and thrive. On the other hand I now have virtually no passion for my local team as I see it as a futile exercise and it has lost any sense of community. I watch football now with no sense of emotion, or passion. My team no longer represents my community or its struggles. There is no longer any incentive to invest in youth development or building strong football system in your local area. As a result I can’t help but think in my own state that AFL will progressively decline over time. So does the end really justify the means if people are becoming disenfranchised and tuning out? Only history will tell, but you can’t help but think our current approach will come back to bite us.