Fourth Age Communiqué - Leadership for the rest of us

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Things we can all learn from Brian Williams

Brian Williams, longtime NBC Nightly News anchor, recently admitted to inaccurately reporting the circumstances of his visit to Iraq during the Gulf War. He was subsequently suspended from the news desk.

Few people ever rise to the role of managing editor of a nightly news broadcast. But everyone can benefit from a few helpful tips on maintaining one's integrity.
  1. Honesty in all things matters to someone

    Every good leader would acknowledge the necessity of being honest and transparent. But that doesn't mean every leader remembers the old adage "honesty is the best policy". If the ends justify the means for you, it's only a matter of time before someone challenges your motives for being deceptive.

  2. Some will only see the transgression

    ... while others will overlook it in defense of the person. Whereas one view judges a person based on a specific incident, the other does not call that person to be accountable for their actions. One view ultimately loses sight of the humanity of a person, while the other loses perspective on what matters. Both can be toxic in their own way, and neither promotes integrity.
  3. Trust takes a lifetime to build and a moment to lose

    Thanks to everyone having access to everything all the time, one mistake can be amplified many times over. And multiple mistakes can amplify exponentially. Here's a good acid test: do you really want to be compared to Tiger Woods at your lowest moment?
  4. Eventually, the truth will out

    And once it comes out, there's no putting the toothpaste back in the bottle. Chances are Brian Williams had to get in front of the story before someone else broke the nature of his embellishment. In the era of social media, do you want to frame it or let someone else?

Also see: Things we can learn from Don Imus


Post a Comment

<< Home