Last October, in the throes of the Washington Redskins' worst football season since 1994, I wrote a lengthy critique of team owner Dan Snyder's highly questionable managerial skills. In essence, I likened Snyder's appalling track record to those of leaders at businesses such as AIG (NYSE: AIG), Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC) Countrywide mortgage division, and General Motors.
Oddly enough, one major institution saw the parallel as well. According to a recent post on czabe.com, the website of sports-radio personality Steve Czaban, an MBA class at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business has taken up the "Snyder Case" as a means to illustrate how to not run a business.
This development is great news in some sense (the validation is nice, for one thing), but definitely not in others. In fact, I'm significantly more dissatisfied now than I was before.
The pot calling the kettle black
Snyder's various NFL-related failures justify extensive public examination, but I can't help stewing over the larger irony at hand. The giant business-school machine is precisely what has spawned -- or at least helped spawn -- so many of the money-can-solve-all, greed-is-good types that brought down my favorite football team and our economy to begin with.
The McDonough case study only scratches the surface of a much larger issue. If business schools are studying the Redskins to learn how to not run a business, shouldn't the Redskins organization study business schools and learn how to not create leaders?
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