5 December 2012: Disfunctional leadership can be seen everywhere5 December 2012: Disfunctional leadership can be seen everywhere

Disfuntional leadership can be seen everywhere

Sorry…If your heart is set on becoming diabetic and developing a watermelon middle or double-wide butt by overindulging in Twinkies, you’ll have to find an alternate pathway.   Incompetence at the top of Hostess made that so.

The rightwing media are doing their best to paint the picture that the demise of the venerable Twinkie is the fault of the company’s unions.  They like to do that.  Better to point the finger at a bogeyman rather than take ownership of blunders.  Facts, however, negate that conclusion.

Some organizations stink from the top down.  Hostess was one.  It fattened the butts of its executives at the cost of the health of the organization.  It would have been better for them to have fattened them with Twinkies.

Enron was another organization that stunk, and you might recall how that ended.  Kenny Lay, old friend, where are you?  Worldcom was another.

How about Penn State?  If Papa Joe were alive today, would you be more apt to give him a hug or wring his neck?  PJ wouldn’t have been able to get away with his cover-up of Jerry Sandusky, though, if it weren’t for the acquiescence and consent of the ones ostensibly in charge.  The erstwhile leaders of that once-venerable institution are up on charges.

Organizations that fail or become corrupt don’t do so because of the janitor.

For quite a stretch the Denver Broncos were reeking.  Owner Pat Bowlen was in charge and finally made the best move in front of him and, no, it wasn’t bringing Peyton Manning to Denver.  John Elway, who was brought on by Bowlen to right the ship, pulled off that sleight of hand.  And we can see how that is paying off.

If there is justice in this world, by the time you read this former University of Colorado football coach Jon Embree will have been reinstated and Athletic Director Mike Bohm and Chancellor Phil DeStefano will be among the unemployed.

Of course, that would take courage by those at the very top—President Bruce Benson and the Board of Regents—but that does seem to be in short supply in Boulder.

The case for Embree is simple: He’s had two miserable seasons.  So did former head coach Bill McCartney in the early 1980s.  In fact, Coach McCartney had three killer losing seasons before going on to become the winningest coach in CU history.

Would’ve Embree been able to match his former coach and current mentor’s performance?  We’ll likely never know because, as F. Scott Fitzgerald proclaimed, in America there are no second acts…unless you’re a defeated Republican candidate for president.

McCartney is a fascinating man for me.  There’s no one with whom I fundamentally disagree more on key social issues being the founder of the Promise Keepers, a fundamentalist, homophobic organization.  Nevertheless, I have deep respect for him on matters not only on college football but also on race.  McCartney has something also in short supply in Boulder: integrity with a proven winning record to back up his stature.  It’s crazy how a national championship will enhance a coach’s stature.  It’s something called success.

“For people to evaluate what he’s—Embree—done so far and be critical about it is so unfair,” McCartney told the Denver Post.  “You’ve got to be blind.  You’ve got to be stupid to think that this is a reflection on his coaching.”

In response to the question about what could be worse than being blind, Helen Keller declared, “Having sight but no vision.”

So being blind is bad enough, but to be stupid and be in charge of the flagship university of the state of Colorado says something more.

Besides race, McCartney had another advantage over Embree: The support of a class organization led by Gordon Gee who is now president of Ohio State University, a perennial football powerhouse and leading academic institution.

Now we have Benson who serves as cover for incompetent and misguided underlings: Bohm and DeStefano.

We reward failure.  They’re called buy-outs.

Former golden boy head coach Dan Hawkins was given five years not only to fail but to drive the program further into the depths.  But, Coach Hawkins has nicely landed on his feet, being out in the land somewhere enjoying the fruits of his labor.

His fruits though, like the current university leadership, were more like the literal one that has an “unsightly appearance with rough, wrinkled, greenish-yellow rind”—ugli.

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