What’s a little lie when you are damn good at what you do

Have you ever told a little white lie to make yourself sound better? For example, my drivers license says I’m 5’10” and 140 pounds but that’s really only in my dreams! But, does that make me a bad person? I’d like to think not.

When you wrote your first resume, did you pad it a bit to include some experiences that sounded a whole lot better than they actually were? Maybe you “managed health and service requirements for multiple domesticated carnivorous mammals” when in reality you were a dog walker?

We are probably all guilty of changing a 2 to a 3 or using a thesaurus to make things sound more amazing. Does that change the quality of the work we perform? As our resume grows with real experience, these little exaggerations drop off and are never seen again and folks are generally none the wiser.

After last week’s upset by the University of Central Florida (UCF) over Penn State, it reminded me of one of my favorite Georgia Tech coaches, George O’Leary, who is the current head coach of the UCF Knights and has been since 2004. While at Georgia Tech as a defensive coordinator, O’Leary helped the Yellow Jackets to their most recent national championship (1990) and as the head coach at Georgia Tech from 1994-2001 he had a 52-33 record and took us to 5 straight bowl games. Not bad.

He would have stayed at Tech for who knows how long and would have accomplished who knows what, but the Virgin Mary had to step in and he was recruited to a failing Notre Dame program. Who in their right mind with a last name of O’Leary would not want to be the head coach at Notre Dame!! That is one of the biggest dream jobs of any football coach in the country. O’Leary took the job and held it for a whopping 5 days.

That’s when someone, for the first time in O’Leary’s career, decided to call and check on a few things on his resume. These little white lies had been there essentially since his ‘first job’ and somehow he never had the gumption to strike them later.

When they found out he did not actually have a Masters Degree and he actually did not letter in football 3 years for a school he only went to for 2 years and never played in a single game, Notre Dame was a bit, let’s say ‘miffed’. O’Leary quickly resigned and apologized.

But did any of that matter? George O’Leary was a proven head coach and a great leader. He had been named the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year and twice had been named the ACC Coach of the Year. Oh well, Notre Dame’s loss. You don’t need a Masters Degree to be a coach nor do you need to have ever played the game.

Since that snafu, George O’Leary was recruited for a small school (UCF) since he was wearing a scarlet letter and has turned the UCF team around and completely rebuilt their football facilities so they can properly recruit talent. He has multiple conference division championships and has been named C-USA Coach of the Year three times! The guy knows what he is doing.

And just last week, UCF marched into Penn State and beat them. Hands down, this is one of the biggest wins in UCF history. My bet, there will be a few teams willing to overlook the little white lie next year when they need a new head coach!!

But, note to self, time to re-read my resume!!
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2 comments on “What’s a little lie when you are damn good at what you do”

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