Addicted to outrage…part two

Little did I realize that I would receive confirmation of yesterday’s post so quickly!

On my favorite radio program, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” one of today’s topics was the Adrian Peterson situation regarding spanking and physical punishment that allegedly has been raised to the level of abuse.

  • Following the initial reporting of the incident, Peterson’s spokesperson, lawyer Rusty Harden, responded, “He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.”
  • Earlier, Peterson himself had said, “I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man.”

I think there is a logical problem with his argument that is a separate one from Peterson’s specific act with his son.  It seems to me that the great running back is missing the point, for one simple reason I attempted to point out in a short tweet to ESPN radio’s show and its host:

  • If spanking is so great and creates discipline…why didn’t it work for Adrian Peterson’s dad, who ended up in prison?

In other words, (and the point is pretty obvious from my perspective) that the same discipline that Peterson’s dad received when he was young didn’t prevent him from committing the crimes that landed him in jail.

  • Peterson implied that the reason for his success was, in part, because of the spankings he received.  Yet, if that was so fundamental…why did that same form of punishment not work in the case of his father?

Look, I know of too many parents who view spanking as the preferred — and sometimes solitary — method of administering discipline.

The point of this was NOT to say that no parent should ever spank — it WAS to indicate that spanking is not a panacea to solve all discipline problems of kids.  If it was…it would’ve worked as surely for Peterson’s father as it worked on the star NFL running back.  

While we may — or may not — disagree with spanking…and we all are aghast at child abuse…the simple point here was to try to get people to THINK about what they assume to be true about the issue.

So…release the trolls!

Screenshot 2014-09-17 13.28.45 Screenshot 2014-09-17 13.29.09 Screenshot 2014-09-17 13.29.26 Screenshot 2014-09-17 13.29.42

(Thanks to my friend, @MikeCane, for being an island of sanity, there!)

And, here’s the one that may be the most egregious:

Screenshot 2014-09-17 13.29.55What?  This discussion could just as easily been about a family from my small hometown of Crothersville, Indiana as it is about the Peterson’s. I don’t get how race has ANYTHING to do with it — but, just as we discussed yesterday, some people are just waiting to be outraged.

Note that not ONE person suggested they may not understand my view — no, “Scott, are you saying you’re against spanking, or what?”  There wasn’t a response that I would consider to be a reasonable disagreement: “Perhaps Peterson’s father was trying to instill a discipline in his son that the dad didn’t possess.”  Instead, accusations ranging from racial profiling to being a “stupid libtard” (which is SOOOOO far from true, I hope) — once again displaying that we are addicted to being outraged — and name calling — rather than engaging in a respectful and reasonable discussion.

  • What does this mean to your business?

This is the kind of outrageous crap that your employees may be hearing from customers who disagree with your policy and approaches on a daily basis.  You need to be certain that they — and you — are prepared to deal with it…while continuing to create distinction and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®” to those terrific clients and prospects who are choosing to spend their time and money with you in a manner that is positive and productive for all.

  • One more little story…

And — for the record, and just so it doesn’t seem that I’m skirting the issue, I was spanked as a kid.  But, there was a difference between “spanking” and “whipping.”  I knew classmates who were whipped — much like Peterson allegedly did to his son — in a manner that today we would agree was abusive.  I don’t think it did anything to assist in their growth and development — and, in almost every case, was detrimental. However, I would suggest that the COMBINATION of love, standards, penalties such as grounding and extra chores, along with an infrequent swat to the posterior was the essential aspect that my parents seemed to get right.

My worst spanking was when I was a sophomore in high school.  I had only had my driver’s license for a few months, and was assigned an early and specific time I was supposed to be home after a basketball game.  I was very late — remember, this is well before cell phones to touch base at home — and, as “call waiting” wasn’t around yet either, the one time that I did try to call, I received a busy signal and didn’t try again.

A band named Crepe Soul was playing the dance after the game…so, I stayed and stayed…hanging out with the singer in the band, a young guy named Mellencamp.  When I got home, my Mom gave me the biggest spanking I ever received — both for being so late…and for hanging out with the band, made up of guys older than me that she didn’t know. (Ironic, since my Dad wasn’t home because he played in a band every weekend.)

Mom got her way.  I never hung out with that Mellencamp kid ever again.  I wonder what happened to him?

What is the Biggest Enemy of Business Success?


From Mark Sanborn:


The worst enemy of business? Indifference.

Indifference is a lack of concern, interest or sympathy and it hurts business in two areas: people and process.

A lack of concern for your employees/colleagues and your customers/clients is the quickest way to destroy commitment and loyalty. Even when you disagree with someone, it shows you are interested enough to engage them. Indifference is a dead end street. It is hard to care about others who don’t seem to care about anything or anyone (except themselves). So why would we care about their business success?

Indifference to process is what happens when you aren’t interested in the details of your business. You can’t be bothered to “look at the numbers” or “deal with the problems,” as if there was something better you should be doing with you time.

We care about what and who is important to us, and if you aren’t concerned about the people and processes of your business, you probably don’t care about profits either.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit

From Scott McKain:


Lack of focus is the biggest enemy of success.  It’s an old analogy; however, it makes the point:  Sunshine alone won’t set a piece of paper on fire, but if you take a magnifying glass and focus the rays, it can cause the paper to erupt in flames.  The sunshine is the same – it’s the focus that creates the reaction.

Perhaps, in today’s age of intense media, the Internet, and unlimited entertainment options, it’s easier to be distracted than ever before.  However, those who desire to be successful can’t use that as an excuse.

What are the keys to focus? Here are three:

  1. Be specific.
  2. Plan.
  3. Write it down.

How do you focus without a target? You can’t – in other words, you need a precise object in order to concentrate.  After you’ve developed a specific target, next — begin to plan on the steps required to achieve your desire.  Finally, write it down – for some reason, putting pen to the page creates a contract with yourself for achievement.

With a specific target, a developed plan, and a written commitment, you will have established the focus required to overcome the biggest enemy of success.

Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information:

From Larry Winget:


The biggest enemy of business success is success. Yep, you read it right. Nothing will kill success any quicker than being really successful. I have seen it many times with many people and many businesses. You experience a level of success and then you focus so much on achieving even more success, that you lose sight of what made you successful. While it is important to be forward thinking in order to build and expand on your hard-earned achievements, I believe it is even more important not to become forgetful. And success makes you forgetful.

Success makes you lazy and lulls you into a sleepy, safe place of complacency where you forget some or all of the things that made you successful in the first place: great customer service, value, hard work, paying attention to the little things, showing up early, making the calls, working closely with your suppliers, exceeding expectations, paying close attention to your money, staying on top of personnel issues, focus, prioritizing, celebrating every victory, learning from your mistakes and appreciating all of the people who helped you become successful. Remember: Look up so you can keep building but never forget to attend to the foundation.

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development©, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to

From Randy Pennington:


Businesses don’t succeed for all sorts of reasons: a bad product; lousy financial controls; ignoring customer needs; poor sales and marketing; no planning. The list could go on.

But, there is one overriding cause at the heart of all of those reasons – inattention.

It is almost impossible for a single leader to pay attention to everything as the business grows. You have to leverage the energy, talent, and commitment of others. And that means that leaders must give their greatest attention to building a culture that never succumbs to inattention.

I agree with Larry that success can make you complacent if you let it. But, inattention can also stem from lack of knowledge or inadequate resources.

The businesses that consistently succeed pay almost fanatical attention to building and sustaining a culture where every person at every level is 100 percent committed, equipped, and accountable for doing ALL the things that deliver consistent results.

I look at it this way: Running a business is a lot like having a successful relationship. No one starts with failure as the goal. And, both fail when you stop giving attention to the crucial aspects that make them successful … starting with the right culture.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to

From Joe Calloway:


The biggest enemy of business success is passion.

Now, everyone get up off the floor because most of you just fainted from shock. Isn’t passion the very thing that makes a business succeed? Actually it’s energy coupled with, as McKain points out, focus, that drives success. As an article in the Wall Street Journal recently stated, “if there’s anything that can sink a new business, it’s passion. It blinds entrepreneurs, leading them to get overconfident and make bad choices at the worst times.” Click Here to read the WSJ article.

The killer: you think that because you love your product/service, everyone else will, too.

Research from Keith Hmieleski and Robert Baron calls this “the tendency to expect positive outcomes even when such expectations are not rationally justified.” The passion to “follow your dreams” and not dispassionately understand the realities of the marketplace is a lethal business killer.

Winget and I have always said that being whipped up in a fit of passion over your business clouds judgment and reason and leads to bad decisions which leads to failure.

Passionate? Fine. But you’d better bring some dispassionate judgment along, too.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better.

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