Jody Vance

Competing Co-workers

Photo credit: GettyImagesToday, Good Morning America host Michael Strahan broke his silence about his rather acrimonious departure from “Live with Kelly & Michael” last spring.

From People:

“I’ve been there long enough to understand how she reacts to things,” said Strahan. He said the only thing that did surprise him was the “stance that was taken” against him. He felt like he was treated like he was a selfish person abandoning Ripa.

“There was no abandonment,” said Strahan, adding that the news was delivered three months before he had initially planned on leaving.”

He tells PEOPLE: “At one point I think we were friends. I don’t know what happened at the end. I learned a lot from her, though.”

Do you know the back-story here?

In brief: Last spring Strahan was tapped to move to mornings, on GMA (same network as Live), after doing some guest stints. He was supposed to stay on Live until September 2016. There’s no doubt Strahan  earned the gig. He’s grown as a broadcaster and learned a lot from “Live” after retiring from his NFL career.  Now, no longer the student, he was/is ready to fly.

Here is a good time to state: I am a Kelly Ripa fan.

She is an excellent host. According to those in the know, at issue was not “that” he was moving to the morning show, it was “how” the news of his new gig came out. Someone on the inside leaked the news and the Network had to play catch up….so Kelly Ripa got the news when we viewers got the news.  She went on a bit of a “work strike” in protest, and was a little bit vocal about being kept out of the loop. When she returned to her show she did an awkward, straight to camera – very prepared – statement.  It was uncomfortable, for me as a viewer, at best.

Strahan took the high road and stayed mum for months, ’til now.  Boy-oh-boy those words above rang loudly for many in the dog-eat-dog industry of broadcast.

You see, no one is really surprised the pair were in deep competition while working together. The hierarchy and competition that goes on behind the scenes.  Uhg.  It’s all too common.

Which bodes my first big question:

Why isn’t the competition the competition?

This glimpse behind the velvet curtain, isn’t pretty.  It’s a view of what we all assume are the elite of television – where the players make millions.  Millions.  We all assume they MUST be happy, how could they not be?  Big budgets, best of everything, experienced staff to help. If they aren’t “all about beating the competition” the rest of us are doomed.

It’s consistently lost on me how competitive co-workers can be, threatened nasties – or worse – bullies. (this is in all walks of life) Why not mentor and support, celebrate the success of others? If you are threatened or insecure, perhaps it is time to ponder the reasons behind that.  If you feel you do your best and are still feeling vulnerable, shouldn’t you take that up with the decision makers?

In the business of broadcast this sort of scenario, more often than not, comes with the territory, unfortunately. We’ve all witnessed it — hell, some of us have been the target — it’s awful.

The competition needs to be enemy number one if winning is the goal.

The goal must be to gather the best group possible, and capture that elusive lightening in a bottle.

A sports analogy fits here: the teams who are most successful are those who play to their strengths (strongest/best players), with a collection of supporters who know their role and have a clear goal, win championships.

It starts with you….with me.  Let’s help our teammates, be great teammates. Walk the walk.

IMHO Michael Strahan, who still technically works with Kelly Ripa (same network), showed that he missed this memo, he’s still competing — otherwise why, on earth, bring this up again now?

Oh! Wait! It’s ratings.

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