Lessons from Jose Fernandez
If you are a baseball fan, then you recognize the name Jose Fernandez.
He was a rising superstar for the Miami Marlins. At 24, he’d already pitched 4 seasons in the major leagues with a sterling 38-17 record and an earned run average below 3.00. He was a future hall of famer. His story was made all the more incredible by his rags to riches story. A defection from Cuba made him the underdog that everyone was rooting for.
But on September 25, 2016, Fernandez was killed while driving his boat. It was a late night boating excursion and the boat was reported traveling at high rates of speed. The accident killed 2 of his friends.
The baseball world mourned. The tragedy was real. Promise dashed.
But the story took a turn when a toxicology report determined that Fernandez had cocaine in his system and a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. He was drunk. Eduardo Rivero died with Fernandez in the accident. Rivero was begged by one of his friends to not go on that boat ride.
What do we learn from his story?
Whether in sports or business, we tend to give the high performers a break. We let their “on-the-field” accomplishments speak for themselves. They can build a reputation, a brand, a trademark for what they do between the lines. The same is true for the business person. Make a lot of money, make a lot of sales and you get a pass.
But in the end, what we do between the lines, or on the business playing field will always merge with the reality of our personal lives. Always. It doesn’t matter if we were the greatest baseball player of all time, or the richest man in the world, when the crowd stands in front of our casket, they won’t remember the statistics of our playing days or the depth of our financial statement, they will ultimately remember the character of the person we’d become.
That is the way it is with legacy. Legacy always trues up the accounts. It brings character and accomplishment into the same court. How we need to hear this message every single day!