Ohio State’s UrbanMeyer is teaching leadership and character? Seriously?
UrbanMeyer, whose latest retirement fromcoaching football begins after Ohio State meetsWashington in the Rose Bowl, plans to remain a big man on campus after all.
Turns out he’s going to coteach a business course this spring titled Leadership and Character.
What’s that look on your face? Just because it seemed likeMeyer, at last check, still had a few things to learn on this subject?
Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business apparently believes the world needs moreMBAs thinking and acting like football coaches in general andMeyer specifically. It explained in a statement Thursday: “Urban Meyer brings extensive leadership experience and a unique perspective to students seeking to engage with top leaders.”
“Unique perspective” is a greatway to put it, so long as “unique” is emphasized over “perspective.”
Surely no one forgotMeyer’s exit as Buckeyes coachwas spurred by more than the strain of health issues aggravated by stress. There alsowas the inescapable shadowcast by how, as a leader, he revealed his character through his handling of allegations of domestic abuse and other reported transgressions by assistant coach Zach Smith, grandson of former Buckeyes coaching legend Earle Bruce.
Obfuscations, poor judgment, misplaced allegiances and other lapses in dealingwith the Smith situation earnedMeyer a threegame suspension at the start of this season. Many regarded that sanction as merely a tap on the wrist byOhio State trustees. After all, the independent investigation conducted at the behest of trustees determinedMeyer’s handling of the Smith case “did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards thatwe expect … on the football staff.”
So it’s not what’s expected fromthe football staff, but it’s apparently the kind of leadership and high standards with which the business school is totally cool?
Then again, perhapswe shouldn’t be so quick to judge. While the Fisher School says the course, to be taught with retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charles “Chas” Buchanan, “will leverage Coach Meyer’s professional insights, challenges and successes,” maybe there will be occasion for reflection on whatMeyer did wrong. It can’t all be about the successes (i.e. two national championships at Florida, taking the Ohio State job, beating Michigan, winning another national championship, beating Michigan some more)? Can it?
One imagines a pop quiz might look something like this:
1. Whenat least 25workers under you are arrested or charged during your six years in a previous job, this is an example of:
C. Whocares? The Florida Gatorswon two national titles in their six seasons underMeyer.
2. Leadership commands respect rather than demanding it. Character is evident when you:
A. Instill values in your organization by demonstrating them every day.
B. Always do what’s best for the organization, even at a personal cost.
3. Whena member of your staff behaves erratically and police are investigating him for domestic violence, the correct response is to:
A. Take your own boss’ advice and remove the underling from your staff.
B. Convince the underling to resign for his own sake and that of the organization.
C. Continue awarding the underling excellent performance reviews and big raises.
4. Abold and dynamic leader always:
A. Solicits input fromothers and builds consensus.
B. Inspires and convinces others to followhis strategy despite concerns they voice.
C. Goes for it on fourth-andinches.
5. Whenasked what you knowabout an underling’s misdeeds and when you first learned of them, you should: A. Always tell the truth.
B. Always be transparent.
C. Give a misleading answer and later say youwere confused by the question and/or unprepared to answer it.
6. The epitome of a leader with characterwould be:
A. President Abraham Lincoln.
B. Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt.
C. Whoever is grading this quiz.
Urban Meyer, stepping down as Ohio State coach, will co-teach a business course this spring titled Leadership and Character.