2 Leaders – 2 Decisions – 1 Accountability

Just recently a high school in St. Louis, Missouri canceled the balance of their football season. They were 7-0 at the time of this decision. Was that accountable?

As it turns out, one of the star players had been suspended for one game after being ejected in the final game of last year, his sophomore season. That suspension was supposed to be carried out this year.

This suspended player, wearing a different uniform number, using a different name, and being touted as a freshman played in the first game of the year. The deliberate falsifying of records and coverup led to the president of the school to dismiss not only the head football coach but all coaches on the team and cancel the balance of the season.

Coaches are supposed to be leaders. In a high school they are admired and set the example that their student-athletes emulate. These coaches said that cheating is fine. They said that nothing is more important than winning. They told the entire team that this one player was more important than all of them. They said that accountability and responsibility and truth and honor and moral character did not matter to any of them. The coaches were not leaders. They were not suitable roll models. They were not accountable to their players, the president of the school, and the entire student body.

The actions of the school president sent an entirely different message and achieved an entirely different result. The president fired all of the coaches and ended the season. The president said that honor matters, that truth matters, that moral character matters, and that there are consequences in our school if you lose sight of that.

The president was accountable, accountable to the students, accountable to the athletes, and accountable to the coaches. Accountability is keeping your commitments to people. Many times, it is not easy to keep those commitments but doing what is right is always the right thing to do. Decisions that align with your values and the type of person and organization you want to always deliver long-term results. Being an accountable leader matters. Building accountable leaders matter. Making sure that every decision you make delivers on your accountability makes all the difference in the world.

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November 2019
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