Pitt’s recently hired football coach, Mike Haywood, was arrested over the weekend. Coach Haywood was charged with felony battery of the mother of his young son and then released on bail. His current relationship with this woman is a bit hazy. Pitt immediately dismissed Haywood and began to search for a new coach of its football program.
The good news is that Pitt has its values positioned front and center. Although the course of action seemed apparent for Pitt, most organizations have less clarity with respect to what they stand for. Recently, I dealt with an organization whose purchasing manager couldn’t work because his wife turned him over to the police for domestic abuse. Another project manager exhibited bursts of anger that cost the company a major client. Finally, a seasoned manager neglected the core functions of his position causing turmoil and petty politics to grow within his division. In all instances, management wrestled with what to do. These employees did 90% of their jobs correctly. However, they were not connecting with each organization’s published values. What do you do with good people who don’t “live” your values?
Values are the DNA at the heart of every organization. They give us the ability to develop a culture that reflects what we hold to be non-negotiable. In a world where values seem to be unknown or in question, think what your actions say to your colleagues and employees. I guarantee they take cues from how you act more than they listen to your words. Values can and should drive our behaviors as leaders.