Roger Cowdrey - International Business Consultant. Writer & Motivational Speaker
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Are there lessons in the FIFA scandal?

We seem to live in a world where scandal at the top of organisations is a way of life for some. Whether it be banks, governments or, lately, the men responsible for football, corruption has become endemic. 

As one watches senior banking officials still receiving large bonuses for ruining economies; politicians giving derisory punishments to a few while carrying on as if nothing has happened; or the FIFA President feigning no knowledge of the corrupt practices of the entire two tiers of executive immediately below him, start-up businesses would be forgiven for believing that corruption does pay.

And yet, when you look at the true effect of what has happened, banks and bankers have lost their position of trust, politicians are trusted even less than tabloid journalists and Blatter is regarded as a 'dead man walking'. In other words, the brands are clearly tarnished and those that associate with them risk having their brands tarnished too.

So why do people in these exalted positions get things so badly wrong? Basically it is because they don't understand the implications of being at the head of an organisation. All of these situations I have mentioned suffer from the belief that their position is one of power. As a consequence they believe that they are in total control and that they can do as they like.

In reality, being head of an organisation is not about power but about responsibility. Whether you are a banker responsible for your depositors' money; a government responsible for the welfare of all of your people; a  sports organisation responsible for the players and spectators of that sport; or an entrepreneurial business owner, responsibility trumps all other aspects of the position.

As the entrepreneurial boss you have responsibilities to your employees, to your investors, to your customers, to your suppliers, to your brand and probably to your family as well. To the entrepreneur failure to satisfy these responsibilities will lead quickly to failure.

Although it seems as if there is a different set of rules for the big boys and that Blatter is surviving despite being either incompetent because he had no idea what those around were doing or was complicit in their illegal dealings, rest assured that the only real difference between governments, banks, FIFA and the individual entrepreneur is that their downfall takes a little longer.

So, in order to be a successful entrepreneur forget power and take on the mantle of a plethora of responsibilities or entrepreneurship is not for you!

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