Leaders Had Better Be Squeaky Clean

By | December 28, 2023

[December 28, 2023]  One of the earliest articles I wrote for my blog was about leader transparency.  Titled A Few Thoughts on Leader Transparency, my core idea was that people must know that their leaders are open about their decision-making and that they provide an honest assessment of the results of their decisions.  Leaders had better be squeaky clean.

My friends in the military called this living in a fishbowl.  It is a controversial view but also widely accepted.  It says leaders working in high visibility, highly competitive organizations are best served if their public and private lives are open for everyone to see.  Senior leaders who make decisions can expect pushback if they conduct themselves secretly.  The result is that they open themselves and their families to additional unwanted scrutiny.

In the case of Harvard University’s President Claudine Gay, her unethical testimony before the U.S. Congress was highly controversial because she selectively applied the principles of free speech.  We can summarize her view as “free speech for me but not for thee.”  Gay is a highly opaque leader, and, as such, this leads to speculation that something nefarious is going on at Harvard.  One result is her life is undergoing the microscope treatment.  Everything she has done is being questioned, a result easily predicted.

The first thing that hit the public was that she plagiarized a few academic articles.  Harvard University reviewed her work and declared her innocent of the charges (before the review got underway).  Oops.  Then, more of her works were reviewed and found to have been plagiarized.  In addition, the data in some of her academic efforts, including her doctorate work, is believed to be falsified, and she has refused to provide the data for review.

But in Gay’s case, she has made her intent at Harvard clear.  Her job is to transform Harvard from an institution of learning into an activist organization.  And this is why she was hired.  Her hiring had nothing to do with merit, which is clearly evident.  Harvard’s board hired her because her academic malfeasance was unimportant to them.  It’s all about the ideology.

If a non-diversity hire were President of Harvard, he would already be terminated.  What I can predict is that there is going to be a lot more drama and the destruction of Harvard’s reputation will be epic.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

24 thoughts on “Leaders Had Better Be Squeaky Clean

  1. Boy Sue

    Be clean or be gone. That is what we used to say as junior managers at a firm I worked for. They were hard asses but paid well and treated their people well. But don’t make a serious mistake that could have easily been avoided or do something illegal, immoral, or unethical, else you were OUT.

    1. Gibbbie

      Boy Sue, you nailed it. You must EARN your position. If you are there because of anything other than merit, then there is an inbuilt bias of unfairness and everyone will know it. THen that hire will be microscoped and any flaw will be exposed. Just like that Harvard President diveristy hire.

  2. Veronica Stillman

    This is going to be the perfect current example to watch and see if what Gen. Satterfield truly works.

  3. Texas Jim

    If you are a leader, then expect people to look at you and your behavior. We do that because we want those who lead us to be smarter and morally better. That is what leaders present to us. If you can show us “the way” that means you are more capable than the rest of us, you have a vision and strategy to get to where you’ve convinced us to go. No one wants a murderer, rapist, thief, narcissist, liar to lead us. We do not value that kid of behavior.

    1. Raw Hide

      Harvard is about to learn their lesson good and hard and I’m happy to just sit back and watch the destruction. But they know it will eventually blow over. These question is, Can they out last the pushback?

  4. Yusaf from Texas

    If you screw up as a leader, you will be looked at closely. That is what gen. Satterfield is getting at, so beware.

  5. Eddie Gilliam

    Leaders must have a higher standard of living. It’s absolutely crazy that we pick and choose which Leaders get a pass. All Leaders currently president and those running for president must be held accountable. All public officials must be held accountable. The secret is that you cannot hide.

    1. JT Patterson

      Hi Eddie, great to see you back …. missed you. I think you meant, a “higher standard of behavior.” We have standards and if you are a leader, then folks expect you to be BETTER than the rest of us. And that means to have better morals, etc.

      1. Eddie Gilliam

        JT .I was very busy last week with helping my veteran friend Bob Reilly preparing the first Christmas for Veteran Village in Philly. The event was on Thursday from 1000am til 12.00pm. I made 40 Love Gift Bags. We purchased a Christmas tree, 50 hoagies from WAWA, gift card’s and other items in the bags. The love bag’s had apple,orange,raisin and candy. The event was a great success.
        Gen Douglas my friend asked me to write an blog for his blog. David and Goliath. The courage and challenge of David.

  6. Kenny Foster

    “My friends in the military called this living in a fishbowl. It is a controversial view but also widely accepted. It says leaders working in high visibility, highly competitive organizations are best served if their public and private lives are open for everyone to see. Senior leaders who make decisions can expect pushback if they conduct themselves secretly. The result is that they open themselves and their families to additional unwanted scrutiny.” — Gen. Doug Satterfield made this comment with the knowledge that is about to be a reckoning for C. Gay. Diversity hires in high places simply do not work because they are totally untrustworthy.

    1. Jerome Smith

      Yes, Kenny. I hope they fire her and she sues them and the whole thing gets exposed for their hiring a black female just because she is a black female.

      1. Maureen S. Sullivan

        Yes, would be fun to watch but the radical leftist ideology is so infused within Harvard and other Ivy League schools that I find it unlikely. But I hope so.

    1. Vanguard Eight Eight

      🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 A comfy chair because there will be lots and lots of drama.

  7. Neat Man II

    Thanks Gen. satterfield. I’ve seen this happen many times where a leader is found out that they are doing something little unethical and then their life gets the microscope treatment. More is found out, and eventually they are fired, resign, or “retire.”

  8. Mikka Solarno

    Added to the end of the article’s title should be …. “or else.” And that ‘or else’ is a shocker. Harvard Pres Gay is about to find out what it’s like to have her life exposed and all her malfeasance shown to the world for what it is. If Harvard doesn’t care, then so be it.

    1. Laughing Monkey

      Yep, my guess is the progressive liberal radicals running Harvard will not care.

    2. JT Patterson

      Well said, Mikka. This is going to be a fun ride watching a diversity hire go down in flames.


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