Ignorance is not a Defense for a Leader

by Trudy on July 22, 2011

Like everyone else, I have been following the implosion of News Corp. And most of the time my jaw is hitting the floor when I read more of this fiasco.

I just cannot decide what I am more appalled by:

  1. The fact that phones had been hacked into
  2. The fact that people knew of this practice and felt it would not be seen as disreputable
  3. That all of the leaders of this organization are trying to use ignorance as a defense
  4. That Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman and CEO, laid blame on “the people I trusted but the blame may be the people that they trusted”

Yikes! Yikes! Yikes!

Everyone is accountable for their own action. Leaders are accountable for their own actions AND the actions of the empire they choose to head (large or small, when you step up you get the good/riches/accolades AND the bad/losses/slinging). Ignorance is not an acceptable defense. I would fully expect that none of the leaders ever got their fingers personally dirty in the unscrupulous behaviours, just as they did not have their fingers directly in the good work that their people carried out. But the accountability sword cuts both ways.

I expect that this is a horrific experience for anyone involved to be embroiled in, and I am sad for the innocent individuals that are feeling its wrath. But I have to say that I am relieved to see that there is public outcry over the disreputable behavior, and that the reprimand and consequence are (hopefully) loud enough for others to give thought to making choices with integrity. Sometimes we need a brick wall to fall to make real changes.

News Corp leaders can try to distance and extricate themselves, but the words do not seem to be convincing to many.

Leadership is both a privilege and a duty. Too often we forget that.

Ignorance is not a defense for a leader. Leaders must take seriously their duty.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: