Houston Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane fired the team’s manager and general manager after Major League Baseball found the Astros illegally created a system the sole and communicated the opposing teams’ pitching signs during their 2017 championship season. Accountability was lacking on the side of those fired but the owner showed his accountability immediately.
General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were suspended without pay for one year by Major League Baseball. Former assistant GM Brandon Taubman was also suspended for one year. The team also has to forfeit several draft pics and pay a $5 million fine.
Base runners at second base have been stealing signs for as long as there has been baseball. But it is explicitly against the rules to use electronic devices to steal the signs.
The final report revealed no evidence that Astros owner Jim Crane had any knowledge of the club’s illegal sign-stealing scheme. Crane fired the General manager and the manager saying that, neither man had devised the cheating plan but that neither had spoken up to stop it. The report went on to say the cheating was “player-driven”.
Yes, there are times when people in an organization make very bad decisions. Leadership, however, no matter the consequences, must take a stand for accountability and the values of the organization. Accountable leaders always do what is right even when doing what is right has negative consequences.
When leadership in an organization does not actively support and protect the values of the organization by eliminating all activity and all people who go against the values, then leadership is saying, “The values do not matter”. Accountability only exists when accountability starts with leadership. It is the responsibility of the accountable leader to inspire accountability in the corporate culture and in all of the people of an organization.
Accountability always has a voice. That voice says, “In this organization we live our values, we keep our commitments to each other, and we always do what is right. The right thing to do is always the right thing to do.