“Decency, dignity and personal responsibility”


I often find that a sports event provides fodder for my posts.


Today is a little different.


This is not a soccer story.  But it is a story about a soccer person – Uli Hoeness – and what he can teach us.


I first came across him when I was 9 – way back in 1975.  He played on a Bayern Munich team that controversially beat my beloved Leeds in the European Cup Final.


More recently he was the president of the same Bayern Munich club.


He was recently charged with evading €3.5 million in taxes – a substantial amount you might say!


However, when his trial began, he admitted to having actually evaded €18.5m – yep – over 5 times the original amount!


So you’ve got someone voluntarily admitting to a more severe crime than that he was charged with.  Rare eh?


It didn’t end there!  After a tax inspector testified, the actual figure rose further to €27.2m – a figure not disputed by the defence team.


Hoeness was given a prison sentence.  And has announced that he will not appeal it.


And what underpins this (sadly rare) recognition of what he had done?


The man’s own words captured it best when he said “This befits my understanding of decency, dignity and personal responsibility.“


At a fundamental level he has recognised that he is responsible for his choices and decisions.


We all are.  In your business you are responsible for how you perform, the choices you make, the decisions you make.  It is you who is responsible, whether you’re planning, executing, reacting, etc.


You can’t control external events.  You may have some influence over other.  But the only person in the world whose actions you can directly control are your own.


Uli Hoeness has done us all a favour by reminding us of this.


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