Two Walkers Worth Copying

Competitiveness is a big part of what makes America strong and great. It is the crucible that tempers our politics, the engine that drives our free-market economy.

Yet competition doesn't always bring out the best in our character. In the race to get ahead, people may be tempted to do the wrong thing. And so we look for role models: Winners who retain their fundamental values.

Sometimes we find our role models in sports. One of these, football legend Doak Walker, died a few days ago. Playing for Southern Methodist University and later turning pro, Walker was a hero to generations of Texans - and to me. He always played fair, on and off the field.

Business can also provide role models. Even in the competitive pit that is electronic journalism, where sparring among the three networks sometimes threatens to break into a shooting war, role models can be found.

Over at ABC News worked a man named Arnot Walker. No kin to Doak Walker, Arnot was the good right arm of anchor Peter Jennings. Arnot was a fierce competitor-- but he was also a friend. If CBS did good work, he was the first to say so. He saw our good work as a challenge to his colleagues to do better.

If both news organizations keep striving for excellence - then everybody benefits - especially our customers, the audience.

Arnot passed away Monday. I'll miss the spirit of both Walkers-- and hope tosee it in others in my business - and yours.

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