I sent the following email message to my team a few weeks ago:
Good evening, colleagues!
Please print this article and bring it with you to our next team meeting.
Our team discussion was a great one. All of us agreed that the situation was tragic. We were disappointed that the plight of the victims was not a prominent part of the media coverage. Most importantly, all of us agreed that many so-called leaders failed when they did not report the allegations to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
During the discussion, I:
- Thanked my team for being high-performance
- Thanked them for adhering to morals and values
- Made it clear what I expect from them in terms of accountability, leadership and responsibility
Fortunately, I have been communicating these expectations since my first day on the job. The Penn State situation, unfortunately, was a way for me to reaffirm those expectations.
If you are interested in facilitating a discussion with your team about accountability, leadership and responsibility, here are some questions to get you started:
- What are your thoughts about this situation?
- What does it tell us about accountability?
- How can other leaders use this situation for good?
- If you were the graduate assistant mentioned in the article, how would you have handled the situation?
- If you were the athletic director mentioned in the article, how would you have handled the situation?
- If you were the vice president mentioned in the article, how would you have handled the situation?
- Who else is responsible for this situation? Should they be punished? If so, how?
Have you discussed the Penn State situation with your team? How did it go?