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james-harrison-son-trophy-tweetPittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, never one to shy away from giving his opinion, was in the news again this past August, this time for giving back his kids’ participation trophies. This issue ignited a national conversation on youth sports, entitlement, and competition.

It reminded me of an interaction I had years ago with a friend. I wished his sons good luck before a soccer tournament, but was told that “luck wouldn’t be necessary.” Everyone in the tournament would get a trophy just for showing up.

“Just for showing up.” I was surprised at the visceral reaction that phrase elicited in me.

As a business owner for 25 years, I was stunned. What would these boys’ first day of work look like? Would they demand a signing bonus just for walking in the door? Would they expect to a raise the first time they stayed late to work on a project? (more…)