As the father of young children I am astonished and heartbroken to hear of the horrible things done by Jerry Sandusky at Penn State.
When we talk about trust – these days I can’t help but think about Joe Paterno. I’m so conflicted about him. What a leader – what a man of integrity – what a legacy he has of helping his players become the kind of men who would achieve long term success.
What’s just so shocking about the recent news about Penn State is that not only did horrible things happen to children on school property by people who were employed by the university – but also it happened on the watch of a man who had set a standard for being above reproach.
He himself has said “I should have done more.” The firestorm is about the fact that he didn’t – and people had higher expectations of him because of the way he lived his life.
The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.
1. Who has your “ear”? Experts tell us that EVERYONE is subject to persuasion. If you are not completely isolated, you you can be persuaded. Choose wisely who you let in your inner circle
- Be willing to hear “You are wrong on this.”
- Be willing to believe that you are wrong sometimes!
2. Shine a light on it. It’s the coverup more than the crime. Expose the evil. The power of this scandal is not that people can do horrible things. Jo Pa’s memory will never be divorced from the fact that he knew and did nothing. Worse, he allowed Sandusky to retire “honorably.” Hiding the evil multiplies the impact.
3. Stand up immediately. The price you pay later is much higher than the price you pay today. It would have been a blow to Penn State when Jo Pa first heard about the evil deeds of Sandusky. But look at the larger damage done now. Jo Pa has lost his legacy. The school has been tarnished. Trust is broken. Your followers need to know you will do what is right, no matter how much it hurts to do it.
- Choose your team wisely.
- Use sunlight to disinfect.
- Stand up now and pay the price today.
What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know!