Like many of you, I have been watching the events unfold surrounding Jerry Sandusky, Penn St. and Joe Paterno. The NCAA came out with its ruling the other day. $60 million in fines and vacating all of Coach Paterno’s wins from 1998. I’ve also been watching the responses. Some calling it unfair. Others saying that the NCAA didn’t go far enough. Whatever your take, there are some life lessons here for all of us.
So what about it? What can we learn here. There are several lessons really.
Guard Your Character With All Your Heart
Joe Paterno was a great coach. He was also a great leader. I don’t know a lot about him, but his family seems to stand by him so I’m assuming he was a loving husband and a good father. I’m sure Joe had the greatest of intentions as he built his legacy. But… it is all for nought. Regardless if you think it fair or not, the fact is that the NCAA stripped him of his wins and titles. If you are a die hard fan and refuse to abandon him, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because his legacy has been ruined.
How did all this come about? It came about because Joe let his guard down. It doesn’t matter for how long. Somewhere along his journey, he lost sight of what’s important. He lost sight of the fact that people always come first. Programs, projects, organizations, should never take precedence over people. Here is the life lesson…
If you lose sight of what is important, people will not remember you for the good things that you’ve done, they will remember the time you lost your way. History is filled with people like this. Tiger Woods, Martha Stewart, Pete Rose, Carl Lewis, Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Baker and many more. These are all good people. They all achieved great things, yet, they failed to guard their hearts. So, guard your heart. Guard you integrity. Treat it like it is cherished treasure. And remember… do not judge others who have lost their way, becuase we could all be just one bad judgement call away from following in their footsteps. Guard your heart.
A Leader Never Assumes Someone is Handling a Big Problem
My Dog ate my homework. I told him to take care of it. I assumed I told the right people. Right. Never… Ever… use these excuses as a cop out. As a leader, it is our… no… it is your… responsibility to ensure that the big things get taken care of. When it comes to matters of integrity and ethics, a true leader won’t pass the responsibility along. It can be delegated, but it can’t be relegated. There are sometimes limits that we all face in regards to our authority. But, you must always follow through when it comes to matters of integrity.
All the best!
All the time!