Phelps is no dope

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps made a big mistake, having been caught on camera smoking marijuana at a college party.  The nice part is, he admits it.

Illegal, immoral, illicit–whatever your feeling on drug use, the irony is that in world where finger-pointing and denial are commonplace, Phelps actually owned up to being a bonehead.  “If you do make bad judgment, make sure you’re responsible. That’s how you’re going to change and learn,” Phelps said on the Today show last week.  And that’s exactly how other celebs, executives with their hands in the cookie jar and companies in crisis should react.

Bernie Madoff or Rod Blagojevich could learn a lesson from this 23-year old boy wonder.  Can you imagine  one of them saying, as Phelps did, that “It’s a stupid mistake. You know, bad judgment. And it’s something that, you know, I have to, and I want to teach other people not to make that mistake.”

Kelloggs and Subway dropped Phelps after the scandal broke, which, as family brands, is understandable.  However, they could be missing the point.  Phelp’s admission shows not only a maturity beyind his years, but a refreshing and ever more uncommon message: MEA CULPA.

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