In the film ‘Jerry Maguire’ Cuba Gooding Jnr. plays Rod Tidwell, an American Football player who’s in desperate need of a new contract. He’s struggling to pay his bills and having to play as a free agent until he can secure a new deal. His agent is Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise.
Show me the Money!!
Rod famously yells at Jerry Maguire to “Show me the money!” But it turns out that’s not all Rod Tidwell wants. Meanwhile, Jerry is having an epiphany, which sees him walk out of a big corporate agency because they’ve stopped caring about their players.
So what does Rod really want?
The money from a new contract is very important, but it’s only part of the package. What Rod really wants is the ‘Qwan’.
Quote “The Quan means love, respect, community… and the dollars too. The entire package.”
And in a perfect arc of symmetry, what Jerry wants to provide is also the Qwan. But he hasn’t enacted his own mission statement. He’s forgotten what’s important. Instead of caring about Rod, he’s obsessing over signing up a new College star, trying to earn a huge fee from an even bigger contract.
As a result, Rod Tidwell is left feeling unloved and an afterthought. His agent isn’t showing him the money, the Qwan or anything else. Jerry is in danger of losing his only player unless he starts believing in his own mission statement.
Money talks, but what’s it saying?
In today’s modern sporting World, the money a player earns is hugely important. That salary pays their mortgage and provides for their family. A professional sports person has a time limited career. If injury strikes it can be a short one.
A player’s salary also has a well-being value as well as a financial one. Your salary provides a sense of self-worth. If you’re one of the best paid players, you’re probably one of the best players. That must feel good.
Highly paid sport stars can take a lot of flak for the money they earn. By contrast, business people are rarely criticised for earning more money than their competitors, as long as they’re fair to their staff, their customers and the environment. Why should sports stars be expected to behave any differently? Why should the golfers taking the LIV money be challenged on their choices or given a hard time?
The answer depends on what you’re being asked to do. What are you selling? Is it an event, a brand-wash or your soul?
What else is there?
It wasn’t for Rod Tidwell and it shouldn’t be for anyone else either.
What happens when you get the money? Do you live happily ever after? What’s most important to you then? Is it still the cash?
Or is it something else?
Doing a job you love?
Improving your performance and mastering your craft?
Winning trophies and titles?
Gaining respect from your fellow professionals?
Earning the love and support of fans and supporters?
All of these offer something that money can’t buy. Do you desire any of them more than money?
Show me the Qwan!
Imagine earning more money that you could ever need, but losing all of these other benefits. Was it worth the trade?
Even the highest paid players need more than money. They need respect, love, support and Wanting more and more money is okay, unless it comes at too high a cost. What cost is that? The more money you have, the more risk you run of losing the Qwan.
Do you just want the money? My answer? You had me at Hell No!