Dr. Tim Irwin




The Ripple Effect of Derailment

Cara Gaskins - Thursday, June 04, 2015
Hardly a week goes by that we don’t see a person of great influence fall from their lofty perch, and last week was no exception. Dennis Hastert, former U.S. Speaker of the House (2nd in the line of succession to the President) was indicted on charges that he paid someone large sums of money to keep quiet about sexual misconduct. Also last week, the soccer world’s foundations shook with the revelation that the U.S. Department of Justice filed a 47-count indictment charging nine current or former FIFA officials and five others with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies.

The consequences to those who follow or admire a leader may be worse than even what the leader experiences. An on-line New York Times article quotes some his former students as saying that Hastert had a major impact on their lives, yet now they are confused and in disbelief about the news. I can only imagine the deep cynicism soccer fans worldwide must be feeling from the FIFA official’s breach of trust.

What is inescapable is that we live in community. While our actions have consequences for us, we must be mindful about what an action could mean to the people we most care about, the organizations to which we are connected, or even our country. Just a couple of days following his indictment, Hastert’s alma mater, Wheaton College, dropped
his name from an academic center.  Hastert also resigned from the prominent school’s board of advisors. Wheaton obviously did not want to be collateral damage.

When we derail, the communities we are part of suffer exponentially more than we could ever imagine.

Before we take any initiative that seems even possibly questionable, we should ask:
  1. What would I say if I had to explain my actions to a reporter from 60 Minutes who ambushed me going into my office?
  2. What if I had to explain my actions to my family or to those who see me as a role model?
  3. Should I ask a trusted advisor if a contemplated action is sound? I’ve wondered what if Anthony Weiner had asked someone with good judgment, “Hey, I’m thinking about sending a photo of my privates to a college student in Seattle I’ve never met…you think that’s a good idea? Will I feel better about myself? He might still be Congressman Weiner had he sought that counsel.
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© Copyright 2015. Dr. Tim Irwin and Irwin Inc, LLC. All rights reserved.
Sam commented on 05-Jun-2015 12:07 AM
Living above reproach - knowing that we have an audience of ONE. Having godly men who look us in the eye and ask the hard questions about thought life and actions are just three ways a leader can make it through to hear the words "Well done good and faithful servant!"
Maybe one more thing... I do not want to have to look my Lord, my wife, my 4 children and my 10 grandchildren in the eyes and have to explain ANY inappropriate behavior!
Gayle commented on 05-Jun-2015 04:21 AM
I wouldn't be acraid of 60 minutes but I would be afraid of God.

Have u noticed the wife's who r quite competent married to strong men (Bill Clinton)the men have sexual control problems. Is there a pattern. Gayle
Anonymous commented on 06-Jun-2015 04:02 AM
The question that should he asked what drives them to do these acts? Is it the pressures of work and life? A sickness?

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