Leadership, by definition, is responsible for setting the tone and the pace of an organization regardless of whether that organization is a corporation, a church, a club, a civic group, or a college.  Leadership sets the example.  Leadership gives direction to the organization and to its followers.  Leadership is responsible for the success or failure of that organization.  Leadership leads.

Consequently, leadership is held to the highest standards of integrity, ethics, and accountability.  This is true for every area and arena of leadership.  But nowhere is it truer than for the protection of the innocent.

Louis Freeh’s report on the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky child abuse case was released yesterday.  Startling and sickening don’t begin to describe its contents.  Freeh’s report reveals a horrific, despicable failure of leadership at the highest level:

“The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.  Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and wellbeing of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest.”

I find it absolutely reprehensible that educated, supposedly ethical and moral people would look the other way, covering up for Sandusky for 14 years.  Apparently, they had no concern for the irrevocable damage to Sandusky’s victims.  This is a leadership failure for which there is no excuse.

I remain deeply saddened the Penn State community had to be subjected to this terrible tragedy.  I remain deeply saddened leaders of the highest level grossly misused and abused their office.  But most of all, I remain deeply saddened for the victims.  They, more than anyone, will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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