Owner / Player or King / Servant?

I was struck in listening to the new 30 for 30 podcast series on the horrible racism of Donald Sterling the contrast between his mentality of his players as people he "owned" versus other owners who saw their players as partners in trying to create championships.


Specifically, the contrast is made between the Clippers (Donald Sterling's team) and the Lakers, who were previously owned by Jerry Buss. While Sterling's players had nothing but contempt for his plantation-mentality, Buss's players saw him truly as a partner. Magic Johnson, one of the most famous players ever, even commented on how, after his first season, he had formed a friendship with Dr. Buss that would last for many years.


This makes me think about companies today and the reckless disregard with which many employees are treated. What is the argument for treating so many people as commodities? Because they are easily replaced? That short-sighted thinking is not only unethical, it's bad for performance! All we have to do is look at these two teams. In Jerry Buss's tenure the Lakers won an impressive 10 championships, reaching the finals an additional 6 times. The Clippers in Donald Sterling's reign? ZERO championships, ZERO finals appearances.


HQCs is not rocket science, but it does take intent and it pays off handsomely.