Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Plaxico Burress Shoots Himself in the Career

Any of us who have worked with new professionals to help them start and manage careers, can’t help but wince every time we see another promising professional sabotage their own career.

In this case it is Plaxico Burress.

You don’t have to be a huge football fan, I sure am not, to know his name. It has that ring to it. That sound that affixes it to your brain the first time you hear it.

The latest news is that Plaxico Burress has being arrested on weapons charges because he allegedly shot himself in the thigh? If that news wasn't bad enough, it seems the incident took place in a nightclub. Who, except someone with bad judgement, goes into a nightclub with a gun?

This is just the latest in a string of news about poor judgment from athletes who seem bent on destroying their own careers.

Of course this destructive behavior is not just limited to just athletes. Although not everyone takes a gun into a nightclub with them, others make bad choices as well.

Remember Denning McTague? The intern who tried to sell historical documents he stole from the US Constitution Center on eBay?

Without getting into the psychology of why some people might be predisposed to harm themselves professionally, there may be some things that professionals can do to avoid shooting themselves in the career.

- Find a mentor whose behavior you can model and whose judgment you trust.
- Stay grounded. It is really exciting to be in the limelight or even just be the new superstar at work. However, keep your focus on a long term career and think through the excitement.
- Ask for help. Be honest with yourself and ask for help if you feel things are slipping out of your control.


Jackie Cameron said...

I thought this case was very interesting too Marcia. I was on holiday when this story broke and as we got American TV channels i followed the various reports - all of which indicated that they think the guy must have some problems to behave like that . What possessed him? Your thoughts have put this into perspective for me. Thanks

Marcia said...

Hi Jackie,

Thanks for reading.

It is hard to know what people are thinking when they obviously sabotage their own careers.