Pride of Ownership Not So Obvious Anymore

Pride of Ownership Not So Obvious Anymore

You are probably not appreciated enough at your work. I don't know you, probably, and so I don't know what you do or how well you do it, but it's likely that you are underappreciated in the doing of it. This is not your fault or anyone else at your work's fault so much as it is just the way it goes -- we do what we do in the silos in which we do it, and as such are generally too busy to notice the work being done by the person to the left, or the right, or in the mailroom or the C-suite or wherever. We don't necessarily all do our best, but we all do what we must, and trust others to do the same. What that sense of socially reinforced responsibility wrings out of us is, in a practical sense, the invisible hand that matters most in maintaining an economy and society that works. Some other invisible hands are perhaps at work much higher up, allocating or misallocating, exploiting inefficiencies or just exploiting full stop. But for most of us, this is the truth of it: We do more than we'd like, for less than we'd like, whatever we do and whatever we're paid, because we feel obligated to do so. Most of us, that is.

It may be different if you are the owner of a professional sports team. The same principle -- do your best, because other people and personal pride depend upon it -- should apply maybe more than usual here. After all, profits and losses aside, owning a sports team amounts to the stewardship of a civic institution; it's a public trusteeship, and the best and best-loved owners succeed simply by behaving in a way that acknowledges the significance of that responsibility. There are many ways to do this. The Rooney family does this with the Pittsburgh Steelers in one way; Mark Cuban does it with the Dallas Mavericks in a louder and spray-tannier way. Both suit their respective cities, and both serve those cities by doing their utmost to give those cities worthy teams.

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