July 13, 2015

Business lessons from the DeAndre Jordan debacle



Most NBA fans already know of the flip-flopping drama that happened with the L.A. Clipper's star player DeAndre Jordan. There are plenty of rumors going around the internet about the details of the fateful night which I will not go into here. Instead I will focus some business lesson we can learn from this debacle.

Business Lesson #1: We're in a candidate-driven market

This is especially true for those in industries that require skilled and talented employees. Even if NBA players are in a very unique situation, the situation in the real world is very similar in that the market for skilled and talented employees is very competitive. Gone are the days when people graduated from school and dreamed of working for your company. Except for a handful of companies, like Google and McKinsey, many companies will have to fight (and in most instances overpay) for the best talents.

Business Lesson #2: Verbal commitments are old-school

Kids today do not have the same values as their parents. Whether its because of a sense of entitlement or because of easier access to information, the bottom line is that the best talents today can and will change their minds. This is not to generalize or to justify going back on a verbal commitment, rather, it is just stating that old school business values are changing -- for better or for worse.

And while many today still give importance and weight to their verbal commitments, their personal well-being will almost always take precedence. Get everything in writing and even then, always be prepared for the worst.

Business Lesson #3: Learn to face the consequences of your decision with humility

One thing that got to me was how Mr. Jordan allegedly declined to contact the Dallas Mavericks once he had changed his mind. It was as if he did not want to face the consequences of his decision. Even his attempt at an apology appeared to be "too little, too late".

It is never a good idea to burn bridges, no matter what industry you are in, as you cannot predict the future. The moment that he had made a decision, the best course of action would have been to notify the affected party, apologize profusely and take whatever negative consequences and reactions with humility. There is always merit in being humble and it would have gone a long way towards repairing the relationship with fans.  

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