September 22; Play The Field As It Is Striped
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Nine: Finance; September 22

Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?

Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?

There are those who move boundary stones;

they pasture flocks they have stolen.

Job 24:1-2

Play The Field As It Is Striped

Rules

John Yoest UpWard Basketball

John Yoest
UpWard Basketball

Your Business Professor was taking a break from writing to teach our 5 year-old boy some basketball moves in our backyard — grab a jersey here, push there, lean, scream.

Charmaine looked out the window from her home office. As a Kentucky Wildcat fan, she understood basketball’s contact nature, but had never heard the narrative; the coaching. “What are you doing?” she asked me.

“Teaching him how to cheat,” I said as I deftly showed him my favorite defensive move: How to gently touch the shooter’s arm without getting caught by the referee.

“I don’t think I like that.” She’s worried about our boy. “Isn’t that how all those Enron guys got started?”

I stop to give her argument some consideration.

She’s got me, again — using logic and reason without incurring any of the Ten Commandments, which govern our faith. Thou shalt not steal, not covet, not bear false witness, etc. and etc. I know this stuff. I teach ethics and do a bit of writing on honest business.

“There is a risk,” I admit. “But it would be the coach’s job to know the degree of the infraction that might result in getting a technical foul called, or—”

“I’m not worried about a penalty box – I’m worried about the penitentiary.”

I protest, “There’s a difference between hockey and the pokey…”

“Sure,” Charmaine says. “You can name your book, Management Without Prison.”

Darn. She’s on to something. I say, “Well, there are very few women incarcerated for white collar crime…”

***

She says, “Because women don’t cheat.”

He says, “No, because women don’t take risks.”

She says, “Because women respect boundaries.”

He says, “No, because women don’t think outside the box.”

She says, “Women do creative products, creative deals not creative accounting.”

***

I begin to realize that I’m getting close to the edge, the abyss, even though I’m winning the debate as I always do. Women respect boundaries and just don’t take questionable legal chances. After over two decades of marital (martial?) bliss I know how to end an argument with two words:

“Yes, dear.”

Pat Heim, Ph.D., would recognize this debate. She runs workshops on gender differences. She asks “the men to tell us the lessons they had learned playing team sports,”

“How to be a leader,” one said

“Taking criticism,” said another.

Soon the lessons were flying thin and fast.

“How to lose.”

“Doing what the coach says.”

“Taking a hit.”

“Looking aggressive even if you’re not.”

They had listed about a dozen when three men simultaneously said, “To cheat.”

The women in the group gasped. One of them spoke up. “I’m shocked. What do you mean, to cheat? You’d better explain.” The other females nodded and murmured in unison.

The men, meanwhile, were surprised by the women’s reaction; cheating seemed so obviously part of the game, it was hardly worth discussing. Eventually one participant said, “Whenever the referee, the umpire, the opposition, whoever, turns his back, you get away with what you can. That’s how the game is played.” (Pat Heim 1992)

Bill Maher, Political Humorist, once said, “When we disregard the rules altogether we get anarchy or, worse yet, Enron.” (Frank Luntz 2007)

***

I go back to the court with less winking at the rules and more thinking about the game. And so Charmaine kept two males safe inside the limits with respect for the law.

Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days? There are those who move boundary stones; they pasture flocks they have stolen. Job 24:2

###

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