August 8, 2020

Petraeus’s Bathsheba Syndrome by Mackubin Thomas Owens

“What led a successful general at the height of his power and influence to have an affair that undid all he had accomplished.”  Ludwig and Longnecker, as well as others writing subsequently, have argued that the psychological impact of gaining power, despite many positive effects, also may unleash a dark side: the belief that one is too big to fail, that the normal rules do not apply. Thus even a leader of high moral character may succumb to the temptations that accompany the acquisition of power. The findings of Ludwig and Longnecker regarding the moral corruption of the powerful go a long way toward explaining Petraeus’s behavior.”

Read the article  by Mackubin Thomas Owens in National Review Online

After the firing: What does the Petrino case mean to Arkansas and college football?

“Yet again we fans of college football find ourselves in a quandary, albeit a false one.   We recognize that excellent coaches are tough to find.  Coaches such as Nick Saban, Paul Johnson, or Urban Meyer can have an immediate, dramatic impact on a program.  By going 21-5 over the past two seasons and beginning the upcoming season with a top ten ranking in the perennially tough SEC, Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino surely belonged in that very exclusive fraternity…”

Read the rest of the commentary by Joe Thomas, S-LS Founder and CEO

 

March 2012 Teachable Moment: The Case of SSGT Robert Bales in Afghanistan

“The tragic news of the alleged actions of 38 year old US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales came as a tremendous shock to the American public.  Recent reporting claims Bales left his operating base on the night of March 11, entered two Afghan villages and methodically went about shooting 16 civilians, including 9 children…One thing is certain at this point and that is US-Afghan relations will be forever altered.  The war may in fact be at a turning point.  The direction of America’s future in Afghanistan is impossible to predict.  Political and military leaders alike will attempt to mitigate the situation.  US service-members and Westerners working in Afghanistan are at far greater risk as a result of this tragedy.  We can safely say that no possible good can come from this incident.  What can be safely claimed is that much needs to be done to prevent such incidents in future.”

Read the rest of the commentary by Joe Thomas, S-LS Founder and CEO

Do Fired Navy COs Suffer From ‘Bathsheba Syndrome’?

“The U.S. Navy has sacked more than 150 commanding officers for misconduct in the past 10 years. Five COs have already been fired this year, including the dismissal Monday of the commander of an amphibious transport dock that had not yet even been commissioned…”The Bathsheba Syndrome: The Ethical Failure of Successful Leaders,” published in a business journal in 1993, asserts that the ethical failure of powerful leaders is often not the result of an individual’s low morals, but the byproduct of success.”

Read the article from Stars and Stripes

NY Times Article: Looking Ahead Behind the Ivy

The pace of change in business is quickening, and business schools are scrambling to keep up. A number of prominent B-schools, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School among them, have rethought their programs and are making changes to reflect the increasingly global scope of business and to improve students’ leadership and teamwork skills. Some schools are asking students to wrestle with questions about the ethical lapses that contributed to the financial crisis. Nitin Nohria, new dean of Harvard Business School and co-author of “Paths to Power: How Insiders and Outsiders Shaped American Business Leadership,” discussed the new courses, and the goals and thinking behind them.

Original New York Times article by Adam Bryant

University of North Carolina Women’s Soccer Team’s Core Values – Anson Dorrance (2006)

Every year when I meet with the rising seniors each week in the spring our discussions center around our core values and what they can do to live them and how they can help drive everyone within the culture to live them as well.  Human nature being what it is, some leaders embrace the personal and public challenge of our discussions and some don’t; just like some people within the culture live the core values and some just don’t have the strength.

Original article by Coach Anson Dorrance 2006 (pdf)

ESPN article highlights college coaches as false leaders

“In a universe where players show up for coffee and are gone by lunch, the coach is the only stable element the college game has, outside of the venerable universities themselves. He generously profits from his image as leader, through outsize salaries, sneaker deals and book and motivational tours. The image is a facade. ”

Original ESPN article by Howard Bryant

David Brooks OpEd: If It Feels Right…

“When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot.”

Original NY Times OpEd