How Authentic Leaders don’t behave: Do as I say and not as I do, James Franklin

As a parent I cannot remember how many times I told my sons “do what I told you to do”.  They would typically listen, but sometimes they would not.  This lack of listening had its roots in many areas, but one of the reasons that people do not follow leaders is their lack of authenticity, especially their lack of believability.  We will spend a few words today talking about how Authentic Leaders either reinforce or “short circuit” their followership based on their behavior.

I have already spoken about parenthood.  How else have I seen leaders lose their authenticity?  Let’s look at a very recent example.

James Franklin recently left the head coaching job at Vanderbilt University to become the head football coach at University.  Nothing wrong with that and we all wish him well.  Where Coach Franklin loses his authenticity is in the way he has handled the recruiting of the young men he was pursuing at Vandy as recruits who are now abandoning this school and committing to Penn State.  On one hand there is no problem with this and it happens all of the time.  Here is where the rub is for me.

in 2010 the new coach of Vanderbilt, James Franklin, said that young men who broke their commitment from one school to another, especially those who left Vandy were “lacking in commitment and not men of honor”.

During the last week we have seen a free for all as Coach Franklin freely turns the heads of young men who committed to one institution and now have changed their minds to attend his new school.  Here is his new take on this situation:

I find it interesting that he has changed his tune so quickly now that his paycheck comes from a new source.

This situation has applications to your work and to your organization.  You will have people come and go and those who come will have the ability to tap into networks you may not have had access to before.  Those who leave have the ability to do the same and they also have access to knowledge and experience that may become a competitive advantage to their new employer.

There are limits to how much you should ask for and how much someone takes with them.  How people honor these limits tells us much about their true integrity and their Authenticity as a leader.

I am not hear to bash anyone.  However, I am here to show that some leaders never waver while others seem to change their tune based on the way the wind blows.

You too should notice these things.