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Your behavior and your brand- how it contributed to losing one of the best jobs in the country

What does the combination of poor behavior choices and a tarnished brand get you today? If you are in the NFL, a demotion from a job that only 31 other people hold! Starting quarterback position for the remainder of the year (promotion), to being benched to 3rd string (demotion).

You don’t think soft skills and your actions off company time are important? I would ask Johnny Manziel about that.

We know he has been in trouble before. (And I understand that he may have an issue with addiction that could be partially responsible for this.)

In fact, here is the article that I wrote just 10 months ago about him and his poor behavior choices. I believe all the same business principles still apply from that article as they do today. Everyone is watching and your behavior does affect your brand and the brand of your employer. Make sure your people know this and practice it.

Originally posted – Dec. 31st, 2014

Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns. What else could possibly be written about him that hasn’t already been done the last three days? From a business perspective-plenty.

In speaking to, and consulting with various companies and organizations on the subjects of behavior, conduct and professional etiquette of people in the workforce today, Johnny Manziel is right now hurting more than just himself by his actions. He is hurting his personal brand (Johnny Football), his professional brand (The Cleveland Browns), his co-workers (teammates) and the reputation of the franchise.

Let’s quickly take a look at the business part of it-

The professional brand of the Browns– Don’t get me wrong, this brand will survive and it has for a long time. But the choices being made of poor behavior and conduct by these young men have taken a hit on this storied franchise here in the short term. Constant stories on TV, the internet and talk radio have not painted the Browns franchise in a great light. Meaning, their “brand” has suffered. And this episode is only the latest hit to the brand. How many of you would still have a job (or not be demoted) if you made the same behavior choices that Manziel has done over the course of the year?

The personal brand of Johnny Manziel – Without life in football, there probably is no “Johnny Football.” There probably aren’t any endorsement deals, TV commercials, paid appearances, you name it. If your personal brand is solid, there won’t be anything to worry about. In business, it is the same way. We just replace endorsements with promotions, TV commercials with a salary increase for a job well done and appearances with perks from your superiors because you have been a great representation of their company and they want to thank you for it.

All of us ask this same question- who am I, what do I stand for and how will I act when I am out representing myself, my family and the company I work for?

His co-workers - How long does your company tolerate someone who isn’t a team player and whose actions make the company look bad? Probably not long. Johnny Manziel is a leader, whether he wants to be or not. This is the position of quarterback in the NFL. But, do you think his co-workers will have his back if he keeps performing poorly off the field? And it is fair to his teammates? The power of poor behavior and conduct don’t just affect one person; it affects the entire organization.

We are starting to hear words coming from the teammates and coaches “need to be held accountable,” “behavior has been disappointing” and “actions will need to speak louder than words.”

Only time will tell on these players, but if you practice my 4 C’s of professional business behavior, chances are there are no “on the field” or “off the field” issues. What are the four C’s?





Oh, and there is one more “C”- make them all Consistent.

Bob Pacanovsky

Bob Pacanovsky is a Keynote,Conference, and Corporate Speaker and Trainer who works with companies and organizations to develop the Black Tie Experience—creating an impression that LASTS through leadership, service, actions, and behaviors.

To learn more, contact Bob Pacanovsky: Call (330) 352-6084 or email

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