The lesson for adults is to follow the ‘corporate’ policy when a situation arises

By Gregory Moore

DALLAS, Texas – The sports world is a microcosm of real life and nothing has come closer to the real thing than when Gary Sandusky was charged with several charges of sexual assault of a minor.

Reality also hit when several prominent members of the Penn State hierarchy found themselves unemployed, including legendary former head coach Joe Paterno.

Yet what is being missed by talking heads in all genres is the fact that a no tolerance policy on harassment and misconduct seems to have been either overlooked or not adhered to.

In such dramatic fashion, lives have been irreparably changed by the actions of a few adults and sadly this tragedy probably could have been handled faster and in a more professional manner had the adults in this situation adhered to whatever sexual misconduct policy Penn State had in effect during that time frame.

Even today, what should have happened was that former graduate assistant Michael McQueary should have immediately reported what he saw to appropriate authorities the moment he thought something was amiss.

Not the day after.

Not in calling his dad for ‘guidance’.

Call papa later; right now you need to find an assistant athletic director or someone with some clout to start putting into motion some type of investigation into what you saw.

Even if McQuery’s actions turned out to be a false alarm, the mere fact that had he simply acted upon a premise of reporting such an egregious act to a superior or someone who understood the compliance policies of the university during that time frame may as well could have saved other victims from their tragedies.

Yet what McQuery did is not any different than what may happen in the workforce today.

How many of us would report an act of misconduct by an employee, colleague or close friend in the work place?

Are you going to give your friend the benefit of the doubt or would you brave the repercussion of losing that friendship and doing what is right?

That’s tough to call because so many of us have turned a blind’s eye during our lifetimes.

Think about it for a minute.

The improper cat call or sexist comment said amongst friends.

A snide remark about a co-worker’s attire.

The snubbing or lack of acknowledgement of a colleague’s comment during a team meeting, that while may be very on point and productive, gets ignored because you just don’t like their mannerisms.

How many of us are guilty of these acts?

And if you are guilty of even the smallest transgression at work, you most likely would not do anything in the Penn State situation either because your make up, your life experience, your persona didn’t do the right thing in the past.

How can you do some good in the future in this regard?

In most cases, you can’t.

It’s not about you being a bad person; it is just the fact that most of us don’t get involved in that fashion.

Yet that that does not mean that we cannot all learn from this incident and get a better understanding of our own work policies in regards to what is deemed to be proper conduct and what needs to be done when such egregious acts or incidents are committed in our presence.

For me, there are five principles that help me understand my own compliance policies at my place of employment that help me understand how I should act. Those five principles are: protect the brand, protect my co-workers, protect the clients, report malfeasance promptly and, protect myself.

PROTECTING THE BRAND

Let’s face it, if you are working for someone else, do you try to protect the brand at all times?

Protecting your employer’s reputation and standing in the community isn’t about a cover up; it is about adhering to the mission statement of the company and realizing that you represent that company when you step out in public.

When you are out and about, it is imperative to make sure that you do not do anything that would come back and harm your employer’s community reputation. Right now, the reputation that Penn State now has is one that they let such incidents happen on their campus; in essence they do not condone what happened so many years ago.

And while that may not be the reality, it is definitely the perception now.

PROTECTING MY CO-WORKERS

If my actions are a reflection of my employer out in public, that same action also reflects on my co-workers’ as well.

If you go out drinking and you get drunk and while you are in your drunken state you say something inappropriate to a stranger, how do you know that the rank stranger is not an acquaintance of one of your co-workers? What if your words got back to your manager or business partner?

Multi-million dollar deals have been lost by those who have allowed alcohol to be in control of their sensibilities.

Too many business relationships have been irreparably damaged by ill-placed comments about an individual or product that was within earshot of someone who may have thought about doing business with you and/or your employer only to say no to these deals because you got diarrhea at the mouth.

If all else fails and you are out in public, you should try to be professional at all times.

When you are representing the company, remember you are representing not just yourself but also your co-workers too.

PROTECTING THE CLIENTS

This is an important principle because it is actually integral to all of these principles.

No matter what, whether you are in public or in a private setting, you should ‘protect the client’ and the client’s reputation.

In the Penn State case, the clients were the young men who were allegedly victimized by Sandusky. Nobody and I do mean NOBODY, thought about protecting these young men. Not Paterno, McQuery, the school president, board of trustees, even the grounds keeper.

Why do I say that? Because if anyone had contact with Sandusky and had an inkling that something was amiss while he was representing Penn State, they did not do anything to stop his transgressions and protect the school and these young men.

And so you are out, you need to realize that protecting your clients, in whatever capacity you may believe the category may be, is as imperative as protecting the brand and the company.

REPORT THE MALFEASANCE EXPEDITIOUSLY

As stated above, we are all guilty of not being proactive and reporting wrong doing in a work place environment; especially if that instance is being committed by a well respected colleague.

Yet by the very act of not acting promptly and reporting whatever wrongdoing we may believe has taken place, what we are doing is actually allowing the action to fester into something that could be more troubling or disturbing down the line.

The old phrase of ‘snitches get stitches’ or whatever saying there is out there about being a tattle tale is not only wrong; it is non-productive to the work community at large.

Had McQuery acted swiftly and notified proper authorities, he may have been a hero and not considered a heel.

If Paterno had listened and actually had more hands on experience in managing his program, both from the football side of things and also from the civic side, he may have been able to stop this tragedy earlier and still have a job.

The same can be said for the others who have been dismissed and who now be facing civil action from the victims and their legal representatives. Their lack of action in trying to squelch this tragedy has now added to their culpability of allowing these actions become a cancer on a proud university.

PROTECT YOURSELF

Finally, if all else fails, protect yourself from being one who has not done anything to bring attention to the problem.

All too often, so many of us worry about repercussions or backlash for saying something when a situation looks like it just isn’t right. We worry about how people perceive us and we want to be liked by our peers and bosses.

Yet if your boss or colleague has committed an act that that is against your company compliance policy or you see an act that raises red flags, you shouldn’t hesitate in notifying the right authorities in that regard.

By being proactive and reporting such instances, you may feel lousy for a minute but in the end you will actually have helped save the reputations, livelihoods and overall lives of those who were about to be victimized.

We all need to learn what our workplace policies are in regards to such instances like what is going on at Penn State and in other news events.

Harassment of any sort should not be something we tolerate as individuals and as working citizens.

The moment we stop truly caring about others and only focus on ourselves, incidents like the Penn State case will keep happening.

This may be a teachable moment but in reality, it really should have been something that was subscribed to long ago; not just now because young men have now been violated by someone who they had once respected and admired.

Gregory Moore is a former sports columnist/writer who now resides in Dallas, Texas. You can follow him via Twitter @nbascribe or email him at urbinform@yahoo.com.

Hatas’ need to re-evaluate their lives; not a 20 something multi-millionare who plays ball

By Gregory Moore

DALLAS, Texas – It’s been a while since I’ve penned something but this needed to be said: for those who continue to ‘hate’ on LeBron because of his decision; it’s time to re-evaluate your lives.

Here’s the scoop. There is a time to ‘hate’ on someone and then there is a time to let it go and move on.

LeBron, the good citizen, is hated while DeShawn, the criminal, is celebrated by many.

Sports, especially professional sports, is a business: pure and simple. There are no such things as allegiances anymore and for those players who are fortunate to be with one franchise their entire career, that only happens when titles are won during their time with the organization.

Want proof?

Look no further than Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.

Das German has spent thirteen seasons with that franchise and he has seen it go up and down. This year, he got his coveted title and he is now in the elite fraternity of NBA champion.

If you think Dirk would have stayed with this franchise last summer if they had not shown a sincere desire to win, you smoking the good stuff. He would have bolted as soon as he could.

Which brings me to LeBron James aka the Chosen One aka the most hated sports figure in pro sports right now.

Why is he hated? Because he allegedly bolted from his hometown and aired the now infamous ESPN one hour commercial called “The Decision”.

Let us forget that thousands of dollars in ad revenue went to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and especially to the club in Akron.

Let’s forget the fact that after 2007, Dan Gilbert handcuffed his front office by not listening to his star.

Let’s forget that despite the success the Cavaliers may have had, everybody came to see LeBron; not Daniel Boobie Gibson, Mo Williams or anyone else on that team one, two, four seasons ago.

If it weren’t for LeBron, Cleveland wouldn’t be mentioned even now; that’s how far it dropped off of the basketball world. And when the last great players anyone came come up with are Rod Williams, Craig Ehlo and Brad Daugherty, guess what? Your franchise flat out sucks eggs.

So has anyone thanked LeBron for bringing the Cavs back to the forefront for seven seasons?

Nope.

But they do hate his guts.

And for what? For going to where titles truly mean something and not just chalk talk?

But what’s so far over the edge is the fact that while so much ink, including here, is spent about LeBron, nobody talks about whether he’s a good citizen or not; both on and off the court.

I mean LeBron may not have won a title but at least he didn’t get arrested for public intoxication like DeShawn Stevenson.

Oh wait, let’s go back further to 2001 when Stevenson was in court over the rape allegations of raping a 15-year-old girl.

Yeah that may be almost a decade ago but here’s the thing: LeBron hasn’t been nowhere near a court room for anything and yet he’s being placed under a magnifying glass like he done stole the biggest chocolate chip cookie from Cookie Monster.

If we are going to be that petty about someone’s inefficiencies because he didn’t stay true to his home city, why can’t we also balance it out and say, “Well he is doing right by his family and kids”?

We can’t.

It’s not in our nature to do so.

Bashing is easy.

Making classless jokes is moronic.

But you know what’s truly sad?

That a 20 something year old man with millions and millions of dollars in the bank will have taken care of at least two generations of his kids and most of us can’t even pay the water bill or gas bill on time.

Think about it folks.

Who needs to really re-evaluate their lives here? LeBron or the hatas that are out there trying to make a buck off of his inefficiency to win in a series that he is at one year too early?

Gregory Moore is a former sports editor/columnist who is now in the Information Technology field. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

Lockhart Smokehouse going to need some seasoning…..

by Gregory Moore

DALLAS – Been a while since I’ve blogged but I decided to write about a new BBQ place that has hit the Dallas metroplex.

Lockhart Smokehouse (www.lockhartsmokehouse.com) is the latest BBQ joint to hit Dallas and there are some promising trends and some not so ‘traditional’ decisions that will either make or break this new restaurant.

Lockhart Smokehouse needs a little bit of seasoning but it's not too bad if you're in a crunch.

First things first, I truly like the location. Located off of Bishop Ave. in Oakcliff, you cannot miss the eatery. Even while I trekked five miles in the snow yesterday, it was easy to find and now I don’t need navigation to get there.

Now what caught my eye wasn’t the place to order the cue; it was the fact that there is a bar in a barbecue restaurant.

Yes you read that correctly; a bar.

Now in Central Texas where my peeps are from, that may not fly (or would it) but I have to remember, this is Dallas and things are done a little bit differently up here.

And so as I walked past the flat screen TVs and nice sitting areas (much nicer than in the Luling/Lockhart/Gonzales places I know) I headed straight to the back where the food is made and ordered.

Here’s where I think things get interesting.

I don’t smell smoke and my clothes don’t reek of it.

They have a nice red Berkley smoker. They have a nice counter with a fancy computer thingamajig to rake cash or plastic. And I saw people getting orders and leaving or sitting down.

But if there is one thing you can judge barbecue meats on; it’s how long the line is to the counter and that’s not the five people who couldn’t make up their mind when I got in there.

So with that in mind, I ordered what I consider my usual order at Kruez, Luling or even Smitty’s: six rings and half a pound of brisket.

Here is the first turn off for me: $40.

Yes that was my total cost.

Rings are $5 a piece folks; that is 135% more than what is charged in Lockhart.

Now maybe they have to have the sausage shipped every day; I don’t know.

If they do, then there is trouble brewing because not even Jerry Jones would pay those prices for long.

My second turn off?

Not enough smoke.

Let me say this: the product is pretty good.

Is it on the caliber of the original Kruez/Smitty’s product in Lockhart?

No.

And that’s where the smoke comes in.

The Berkley smoker may be fancy and new but it is not like the brick pits that are used in the small towns along the Texas BBQ circuit.

Now for those who have never really had Central Texas BBQ, this place is going to rock.

But I’m a purist and while I will patronize it because it is a few miles from the house, I don’t think it will be on my favorite BBQ places of all times.

Like I said before, the product is good but it is missing that ‘seasoning’ that only years of being in business give such products.

(For the record, yes I think they are better than Dickey’s and will probably give Sonny Bryan’s a run. They definitely can give Rudy’s trouble)

In the end, it’s a restaurant that I will frequent, invite friends to, etc.

However if I want the real thing and really want to make the drive, I can gas up the SUV, point it down I-35 south and make a stop at Kruez in Lockhart.

So on my unofficial scale of great BBQ taste, I’ll say it is a 7.3 and needs some seasoning.

Despite what you think you know, the economy may indeed be on the upswing

Retail shopping is always a key indicator as to how the economy is doing.

By Gregory Moore

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and I’ve had good reason; I’ve become the product of a booming economy.

Yeah that’s right; I’m the proud product of an economy that is on the upswing.

The job market is up people.

Retailers are about to see a major boost in sales starting in six days and guess what? Some of the things that were promised two years ago are happening right in front of you.

What is so ironic is the fact that there are individuals who want to continue to tell you that this country’s economy is still in the sewer and we have a long way to go.

Well here’s what you do…stop listening to naysayers and pay attention to what is going on around you.

Forget about what the politicians and talking heads are saying because if the truth was truly told, they would be saying that despite some rough times, there are good times ahead and that it is going to take hard work.

Now does that mean that the Democrats have won?

The Republicans and Tea Partyers?

No on all fronts.

This isn’t about politics but about how the American people are making things work and that is what we are all about.

I’ve said in the past that if people got up and stopped feeling sorry for themselves they would find ways of fixing whatever needs fixing.

Our economy needs fixing folks and we are fixing it.

I’ve been in one of the busiest malls in Dallas and I don’t see a slumping economy.

Not when you see shopping bags from some big name stores in shoppers’ hands.

From Tiffany’s to Dillard’s to Macy’s to the new Disney store, I see a booming economy.

Car dealerships are doing well too as I’ve seen a lot of dealer tags for both new and used cars on the road.

And the job market?

Don’t get me started because I’ll debate anyone who tells me there aren’t jobs out there.

They are out there but you can’t be sitting on your couch and waiting for it to come.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there.

Job.

Job who?

Do you want one?

You’ll never hear that knock folks but as one car company’s ad is known for saying, Mr. Opportunity is out there and he’s knocking on the right door if you know where to look.

So with the holiday season about to commence, let me say this: the economy is blooming and booming.

It’s on the upswing and 2010 has been a good year for all of us.

We just need to keep pushing to make sure that the next new year is even better than the past.

 Happy Holidays.

Best Buy’s PC gurus really don’t impress me in their knowledge

Salespeople at computer retail stores really should know their product by understanding what the customer wants; not throwing around tech terms they barely understand themselves.

By Gregory Moore

DALLAS, Texas — Over the weekend, the Moore household had to make a purchase for a new addition to the family.

No we didn’t get a dog or cat; we added to our computer offspring.

Now so that you understand, I’m a Mac guy.

I don’t despise Windows or the user base but I just like my stuff to work if you know what I mean.

And I also know that my preference of computer systems is on the high side of the computer-purchasing spectrum.

Let’s face it.

The mere fact that the cheapest desktop in Apple’s stable starts out at $699 and their entry-level laptop is $300 more.

So when you’re on a budget, you can’t always get what you want.

I’m okay with that fact because I know that sometimes necessity is going to be dictated by how many Abe Lincolns, George W’s and Bennies are in my wallet.

Over the weekend, let’s just say that necessity and wallet size won that battle.

And so for the time being the household has one Mac mini and one Windows 7 laptop.

But this isn’t about the new addition to the family or my ‘snootiness’ of computer choice as my girlfriend loves to say; it’s about the abhorrent perceived knowledge that Best Buy thinks is customer service.

Now maybe I’m a little touchy because I’m back in the IT field and customer relations is a part of my job.

Sure I am dealing with a lot of support issues but I also have to know the systems I’m servicing and I have to be able to sometimes sell those systems with confidence.

But is irking me as I write this blog is the fact that so many people at Best Buy who are in the PC section think that throwing out big words is what customers want to hear.

Well it’s not.

When my girlfriend hands me the box with the laptop she wants in it and says, “double check and make sure it has wifi built in”; that tells me that the sales person did not do his or her job.

Does every laptop have wifi built in now?

Sure it does.

But how about being professional and answering all of the customer’s objections and questions so that they are assured of making the right purchase.

Throwing around big words didn’t impress me with the people in the blue and yellow shirts; it really ticked me off.

And when I asked a more technical question on processor speed, getting stumped and making something up doesn’t help either.

(Yes the sales guy tried to smooze his way into telling me what type of processor the laptop had and what it meant and he failed miserably).

Word of advice Best Buy and anyone else who is at a retail shop selling electronic gizmos to us; know your product and know it well.

We consumers are a more savvy than you think and the last thing you want is for a customer to turn to their spouse or tech friend and ask them all the important questions that you should have answers to.

We don’t like big words; just words that make sense when we are spending large sums of money.

Sir Charles seems to forget his nomadish “punkish” moves during his career

by Gregory Moore

Charles Barkley played for three teams in his playing days and he chased titles like every one else. (Daily Comedy)

DALLAS, Tx – It’s just amazing what rose tinted glasses do to one’s vision these days.

Charles Barkley, aka the Round Mound of Rebound, aka Sir Charles, recently went on a local sports radio show and said that LeBron James needs to add his name to the list as one of the guys who is talking about the former Cleveland Cavalier.

“I heard about LeBron’s little tweet today that he’s remembering everybody who said anything bad about him,” Barkley said Thursday on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM in Dallas/Fort Worth. “And he said ‘everybody.’ Well, I want him to make sure that he puts my name on that (list).
“I thought that his little one-hour special was a punk move. I thought them dancing around on the stage was a punk move, and I thought he should’ve stayed in Cleveland. Him joining Dwyane Wade‘s team was very disappointing to me.”

Okay so Barkley, like a few other former NBA players, thinks what James did was such a disservice to both him and a lot of people.

Really?

Can someone explain to me why Barkley left the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that drafted him in 1984 for the Phoenix Suns at the beginning of the 1992-93 season.

Does anyone know why he left?

He wanted to win a championship and the 76ers didn’t have the pieces to do so.

So after eight seasons, and a spitting incident, he left for dryer pastures and got to the NBA Finals with Keven Johnson’s and Dan Marjle’s team.

Yeah I said it.

This wasn’t his team. It was two other superstars’ Suns team.

Barkley proclaimed it destiny for the Suns to beat the Bulls but a guy by the name of Michael Jordan had something to say about that.

Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won that series in six games and that was the last time Barkley even sniffed the Finals again.

So after the 1995-96 season, Barkley departed the Suns and headed down IH-10 to Houston to join another team; the Houston Rockets.

Why?

That elusive championship.

The problem here was that Barkley was a year late and far too heavy to be that big of a contributing factor for the Rockets.

Plus it wasn’t his team.

The Rockets had guys like Hakeem Olajuwan, Kenny Smith, clyde Drexler and Robert Horry on that roster.

They were all stars of equal or better shine than Barkley was.

So after four seasons with the Rockets, that included the lockout year that saw the San Antonio Spurs win a title, Barkley saw his career end with only one NBA appearance.

He was a nomad looking for a ring.

And yet he’s upset that James left Cleveland for Miami?

Why did he leave Philly and Phoenix?

Couldn’t the same argument be made about him and so many other ball players who are pros?

After all, what is every pro athlete chasing besides money?

A title.

Don’t believe me? Why is Shaquile O’Neal a Boston Celtic now so late in his career?

Because he wants to win another title.

We’ve all talked about the now infamous television mess that showed up on our tvs that July night.

James and his handlers definitely didn’t do the right thing.

But Barkley needs to enjoy retirement and just let the young guy does what is best for his career.

After all Barkley left at least TWO cities that loved him for a title chase and yet he’s considered one of the fifty greatest players in league history.

Nobody thought about what Barkley did in his playing days when he was nomadic and we sure as heck can’t be second guessing James on his ways in this day and age.

Different time, different era.

Yet both players made the same ‘decision’ on their careers at a time when it looked like they bailed on their former team(s).

Rings are important. And that is why they left when they did.

And if you aren’t about the ring, then you just aren’t about winning it seems.

The “Decision” has become nothing more than an LBJ media circus production

LeBron James has become the puppet master of this media circus called "The Decision".

By Gregory Moore

DALLAS, Texas – Today may be July 8, 2010 but in the sports media world, it seems to be the date where a big decision will rock one city, set another city on its proverbial ear and send shock waves through a sports league.

At least that is what everyone who is involved in this circus tent wants you to believe.

ESPN has gotten suckered into making this their lead story and primetime showcase.

The National Basketball Association has been waiting with baited breath to see which way LeBron James will go so that they can get their marketing team ready to roll out whatever merchandise they may see coming.

The city of Miami is hoping that James’ decision means they have another title on the way while the cities of Akron and Cleveland brace for what can only be considered the death nail in an area where the last professional sports championship came in 1964.

And if you turn your television tuner to other channels or you are listening to any type of sports talk or even news talk on the radio dial, undoubtedly there will be pundits from all walks of life saying what a 25-year-old man should or should not do today.

One may think this is a great news story but in actuality it’s a media circus that has been created by the King James brand and it is bordering on bad media ethics.

I can’t fault the peeps over at ESPN for doing this.

Heck actually I can’t fault anyone who is in the sports talk biz for speaking on this.

But that is where this ends.

The problem with ESPN is that they are kind of in bed with James on this; even from the very beginning. While SportsCenter may be the ‘news’ arm of the company, shows like Mike and Mike, Scott Van Pelt and other shows coming from other opinion based shows out of the Bristol, Connecticut studios haven’t been on the up and up on news coverage.

James and his LBJ consortium knew this.

What’s worse is that James’ legacy as being the ‘greatest’ player in the NBA both on the court and off is now taking a serious hit.

What Maverick Carter and others do not realize is that broadcasting his decision on ESPN during a prime time viewing hour isn’t hurting your marketability of James; it’s hurting it.

Think of the greatest basketball player of this era or at least within the last 20 years.

Do you honestly think Michael Jordan would do what James is doing now?

Not when you are already considered one of the best in the world and people are buying your sneaks at $150 a pair.

And that’s the formula that James and his people simply did not follow.

What made Jordan so ‘adorable’ to us was the fact that he wasn’t that much of a show ma off the court.

Yes he had a press conference when he ‘retired’ from the NBA for a few years but when he came back, he and his agent crafted just a two word announcement: “I’m Back.”

Sure Nike came up with the Morris Blackmon commercial in which Spike Lee talked about “Money” dropping a double nickel on his beloved Knicks. But the point is that when Jordan came back, there was not long, drawn out process on the decision. There was a lot of speculation but Jordan didn’t fuel it.

There in lies the problem with this decision.

Instead of James ‘being the news’, he made the news. He fabricated its headlines and formed up the story lines.

Ethically I think that not only is this wrong but it goes against everything that true journalism should be about; even sports journalism.

James and company may be headed to Miami today.

Heck he may decide to stay in Cleveland or head over to the Windy City.

But that is no longer going to be the story.

It would have been the story if Carter didn’t contact ESPN and pitch to the head honchos this idea of making his buddy and client the focal point of a lead story in throws of summer.

And while I may think that ESPN should have said thanks but no thanks, again I can’t fault them for not being able to broadcast it; no matter how unethical I think it may be.

The problem is that what James has done is create the media circus he said he didn’t want when the courtship for a new team began.

In actuality what he wanted was to be able to be the ring master in this media circus and that is exactly what this is; a media circus.

For someone who said he wasn’t about all the attention, this orchestration shows that not only is James about himself but he isn’t about winning titles.

Unlike MJ, LBJ has shown his true colors of being an opportunist and that may backfire big time if all of this manipulation does not yield a title in five years or less.

If that happens then what LeBron James will be known for is just another Hall of Fame basketball player who couldn’t deliver the goods on a championship.

This big decision will be then looked at as the big bust and where will Maverick Carter and company be then?

With the proverbial egg all over their face.