Sometimes I read the headlines of the newspaper and wonder how they could have chosen the topic as a front page story.  How did that make it “above the fold?” I ask…

…and then I remember it is because the purpose of the media is to make money, not to report the news.  What will sell gets top billing; not what will inform.

I think it’s a similar situation with professional sports teams.  When I lived in St. Louis, there was a public uproar when they traded Albert Pujols.  He was beloved in the city, not only for his athletic talents, but for his civic involvement and generosity.  People couldn’t believe that the front office wouldn’t keep him in town…

…because they felt like the Cardinals were a community trust, not a business.  In reality, sports teams are out to make a profit, not be a charity in the towns where they reside.

Newspapers and athletic franchises remind me of for-profit universities (like Phoenix and Kaplan) who tout their on-line conveniences and accelerated pathways for adults to finally finish their degrees…

…only their true motive is generating revenue, not learning.  They are not altruistically providing people with a meaningful college education, rather using access to federal funding to fill their coffers in exchange for credentials.

If you want to understand the motivations of other people or organizations, spend some thought considering the underlying “why” behind their behavior.  Most people will act consistent with their values, even if they do so by pretending to value what they think you do.

— beth triplett

with influences from Start with Why by Simon Sinek

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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