Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Teaching Moment!

Whether you believe the accuser(s) of Herman Cain or not, there is a lesson to be learned by people who want to assume a position of leadership. So let's take this teaching moment and use it to personally grow. It's important to remove your feelings about where the guilt lies in this instance and take the situation back to it's root. Like Orrin Woodward is fond of saying, to kill a weed you have to get the roots!

This lesson was preached to me long ago when I first became a district manager with the Fort Myers News Press. I'll never forget the teaching of my immediate supervisor, Jim Stephens. He sat me down in his office and gave me these words of wisdom. "A man in a position of responsibility is to always be in a position above reproach." Then he broke it down for me to insure I understood what he was trying to tell me. "Never ever allow yourself to be put into a position where someone can question your word or your actions." What an incredible leadership tidbit! Here's the funny part, decades later I find myself under the tutelage of the #7 leadership expert in the world and he lives this principle night and day. Orrin Woodward takes unheard of caution to never be caught alone in the company of someone of the other sex. If he finds himself in that situation he will immediately leaves the room. Never is a woman allowed to accompany him anywhere without other parties present to insure that anything inappropriate is ever suggested. Orrin protects his reputation and his character to the nth degree. I'm absolutely certain that if Mother Theresa was alive today and Orrin gained and audience with her it would never be in private.

Is this overdone? I'm fairly certain if you asked Herman Cain right now he wouldn't think so. Regardless of his guilt or innocence the seed of doubt has been planted about his leadership capabilities. Has he been set up? Well, I have my feelings about it and I'm sure you do too, but the issue is he was caught with the protection of his reputation down and that's unacceptable. I did find it interesting that his only public accuser resides in the same building as the head campaign strategist for the opposite party. I know they'd love to have an opponent that they could play the race card against, that would be difficult running against someone of the same race. Since the Afro-American vote weighed heavily in the President's favor last election, and this race will be closely contested, it wouldn't bode well for him to risk splitting that demographic. I'm a strong believer that coincidence happen for a reason, ergo they aren't coincidental.

Regardless, take this for the teaching moment it is and use it in your leadership journey. There will be those as you rise to a position of influence that will do their damndest to discredit you. It's better to learn from other's experience than the hard way.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

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