New leadership will pay off in long term
class of '85
I am responding to Michael Palumbo's Dec. 6 letter. Mr. Palumbo must realize that the business of Notre Dame football is just that, a business. The enterprise of Notre Dame football was on the decline, so the University did what most responsible Corporate Boards of Directors would do — it cut its losses — and is now seeking new leadership with the intention of turning the whole thing around.
If I were a lawyer I might see things the way Mr. Palumbo sees them. But I am not. I am a businessman responsible for not only the bottom line, but for what essentially is the most important precursor to the bottom line, the morale and satisfaction of employees and shareholders. If I were teaching in the MBA program at Notre Dame, I would use the developments of the last few months as a case study illustrating the need to make the "tough" decisions and the importance of making sacrifices in the short run in exchange for long-term benefits.
Firing anyone (if you are a responsible and caring employer) is difficult and often painful. But you don't do it unless you know it's in the best long-term interest of the organization. CEOs of strong character and good moral fiber lose their jobs all the time, not because a company sacrifices principle, but because it recognizes its need to perform, and it recognizes the need for new leadership.
Notre Dame football is big business. Kudos to the administration for recognizing that and for setting the kind of example that would make any business school alumnus proud.
class of '85
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Dec. 7, 2001
All Viewpoint Stories for Monday, December 10, 2001