THE BLOG
09/12/2014 05:12 pm ET Updated Nov 12, 2014

3 Leadership Mistakes Roger Goodell Made That You Shouldn't

I remember the first Super Bowl I saw as a kid. It ended with Leon Lett picking up a loose ball and having a clear lane to a touchdown. He was walking into the endzone till out of nowhere Don Beebe came and caused a fumble.

To this day, I thought that was the worst fumble I would ever see in football, but as I turned on my TV this week, I was proven wrong. The fumble I witness was not by a player on the gridiron, but by the head honcho, commissioner Roger Goodell.

Now, unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of the latest National Football League scandal featuring Ray Rice and his wife, but just as important, how the commissioner, Roger Goodell has been handling the situation.

Before I continue writing I must add that any grown man, ESPECIALLY a professional athlete, should never, ever, put his hands on a woman, it's wrong and absolutely disgusting. When I saw the video I was absolutely appalled.

The main issue I want to discuss is how Roger Goodell has completely "fumbled" the situation and how it is a perfect example of poor leadership from the person that is the face of an organization. I had vaguely written about horrible bosses before, but this is a colossal screw up that has the focus of everyone in the nation.

Here's what Roger got wrong with the handling of the case:

Lacked Transparency
One of the worst things you can do is not be honest to your staff. You have 32 owners that manage organizations across the United States. All have thousands of employees and hundreds of sponsors.

When you're trying to become an established global brand you have to be transparent with your staff and all the constituents that help your organization run.

Goodell made a decision to suspend Rice just two games knowing what he did. Then after the media got a hold of the tapes that were reportedly sent to the NFL, he chose to suspend him indefinitely. What if the media would've not made it national news? Would Goodell just allow this type of stuff to continue to happen with a minimal punishment?

Goodell got caught and everyone knows it. He told the owners that he was going to handle the situation to the best of his ability and then he failed. He then released a statement saying that he had never seen the footage before this week and the the Associated Press released a report saying that the NFL did in fact receive all the tapes of the situation. Mind you, this is a league that has hundred of former FBI and security agents doing research on their players when it comes to situations like this.

This lack of transparency with the media, sponsors, organization, and fans is going to lead to a lot of problem.

If you have an executive-level management position, take notes, a couple of lies (and scandals) will mess up your career. So just be honest!

Let Down All of His Employees
Throughout his tenure, the Goodell has been in the center of controversy several times, but every single time he was able to get the approval of all the owners within the NFL.

As for the players/his employees, they have never been too fond of him and the handling of this situation has led to very harsh criticism:

I'm sure the last thing you would want as a boss is for all of your employees talking like that about you. He has lost the trust and respect of the 

I doubt that employee motivation is high within the NFL right now. When you lose the trust of your employees, they tend to not care about the company's mission or core values. So at this point, the players (as you can see by Eric Weddle's tweet) aren't playing for the NFL, they're just playing a sport and collecting their [massive] paychecks and building their legacy. 

Did Not Live Up To The Company's Mission

This is the worst thing that has ever happened (imagewise) to the NFL. This is leaving sponsors, owners, players, and fans wondering if the league is even legitimate in it's mission and core values.

Keep in mind that this is an organization that children look up to. It's the most profitable sports league in the nation. What are you teaching the youth when they're looking at a league that lightly disciplines their all-stars with a slap on the wrist? Think of the example you're setting.

Goodell has always been vocal when it came to "protecting the shield" and the importance of having outstanding employees within the organization, but this (along with the infamous bounty scandal... and bullying scandal... and murder scandal... and the Native American team name scandal... and dogfighting scandal... and the owner being caught with a bag with 20k and a lot of drugs scandal) proved that he is absolutely full of it.

He knew that a woman had been severely assaulted, he saw the video of an unconscious body being dragged on a floor, and he chose to give his employee, an all-pro player, a slap on the wrist.

What is the company culture around Roger Goodell's NFL? It's profiting out of glamorizing lawbreakers. How would your company deal with a situation like this? If one of your star employees got caught doing something that bad, would you give him a light punishment?

At the end of the day, people aren't perfect. What Ray Rice did was absolutely wrong, however we shouldn't shun him from society. He is getting treatment and he might play football again later down the road.

Unfortunately, people in regular workplaces are going to make similar mistakes. It's really up to the leadership to address the situation with the rest of the workplace and handle the situation as diplomatic as possible.