John Lennon wrote a song on the Imagine album (back when we called them albums) called “How Do You Sleep?” and lately a number of events have me asking the same question. All of this may come across as naive but I can’t understand how some folks sleep at night given the way in which they conduct their lives.
This “Sir” Allen Stanford scam-fest is just the latest in a string of folks who have been perpetrating Ponzi schemes both big and small. It really doesn’t matter the size of the scheme. If it’s your money involved, it’s huge. When you cause collateral damage to people and organizations who had nothing to do with you directly, it’s even bigger. Ask the folks on the PGA and LPGA Tours how they’re going to replace the sponsorship money in very tight times? How do you sleep?
Then there’s The Donald. His casino empire has filed for bankruptcy yet again. He blames the bondholders. He blames a few other entities. In fact, he blames pretty much anyone but himself.
“Other than the fact that it has my name on it — which I’m not thrilled about — I have nothing to do with the company,” Trump told The Associated Press Tuesday morning.
But isn’t that the point? Why is your name on it? Shared brand equity. When the thing (casino) to which you’re lending your name is diminished, so are you! Sure, you can walk away, but what about your shareholders? How do you sleep?
I’m sure you can add a number of folks of whom you would ask that question to my list. The real key is conducting yourself and your business in a way that your Mom or Dad or friends or kids would say is a manner where you and they will sleep well. Having trouble sleeping? Ask yourself why. If you don’t like the answer, DO something about it, painful as that may be.