Leaders and Their Flagrant Fouls

It seems that hardly a week goes by, without another person in a leadership position being flagged for dishonorable behavior, and in many cases, tossed out of the game.

In recent days, it was Bobby Petrino, head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks, who was dismissed in disgrace for…well, read about it here. He joins Brian Dunn, just-departed CEO of Best Buy who also allegedly engaged in dishonorable behavior, and a whole host of other former leaders, from business people to clergymen, from politicians to sports stars, who held positions of honor and influence – then imploded.

Like it or not, we expect our leaders to be examples of responsibility, morality, and self-control. Fraud, deceit, self-dealing, and disloyalty are not on the list of desirable attributes when we describe an effective leader. It’s no wonder so many people root for a guy like Tim Tebow. Leadership with morality and sincerity, at a professional level in sports? Who knew? And it’s a sad commentary that we become so jaded by the dishonorable figures we’ve seen paraded before us, that many are just waiting to pounce, certain that anyone who actually might be the real deal MUST be hiding dirt somewhere.

But Tim Tebow is not perfect, and neither is anyone else. Every player gets flagged for a hold here, an intentional grounding there, maybe a bit of pass interference from time to time. It’s human to make mistakes. But the flagrant stuff, such as actually targeting people for injury – that’s not a mere stumble. That’s a cause of shame and dishonor. Misusing funds, lying to superiors, committing perjury, patronizing prostitutes – these feel a lot more like a gross violation of trust and responsibility.

So, where do we draw the lines in business? What should be chalked up to human imperfection, as opposed to dishonorable behavior leading to “dismissal for cause”? Can trust in a leader be re-built? Join us in a discussion of this topic – Leadership Honor and Dishonor – on Tuesday night, April 17th (8 pm ET) on Twitter during #LeadershipChat. And be sure to read my co-host Lisa Petrilli’s prep blog post, The Power of Leading with Honor and Self-Empowerment. See you on Tuesday night for The Fastest Hour on the Internet!

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Hire Steve Woodruff for Clarity Therapy

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Five in the Morning 101308

Best Buy re-brands – what do you think of the new outfit? From the folks at Brand New – worth adding to your RSS Reader to see who’s up to the latest re-branding efforts.

Unconventional Marketing mapped out by David Armano – another thought-provoking post/graphic by a very creative thinker.

Shannon Paul explains that Free Content Makes Money.

For those of us who love gadgets and automation, a very cool movement in the hospitality industry – Hotels go High-Tech. I love this idea. From MobileCrunch.

First Age of Conversation #2 podcast is up, says Gavin Heaton (co-editor along with Drew McLellan). First victim of the 237 authors is Jay Ehret.

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Just for fun bonus: Words and phrases we should never hear again, collected by Kirsten Wright. I’m sure you can think of others to add!

Oh, and why not…what do you get when you combine an iPhone camera, fall leaves, a slow shutter speed, and a twisting-of-device-while-taking-image? This!

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