Leadership Toolbox: Investigations

By | November 5, 2017

[November 5, 2017]  Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into a potential coordination between U.S. President Trump’s campaign and Russia.  The legal counsel’s look into possible wrong-doing is an example of a formal investigation and an item that all leaders should evaluate as part of their leadership toolbox.

This formal investigation, largely open-ended and with considerable power to Mueller, was designed to determine if collusion or illegal activity was conducted during the U.S. presidential campaign and whether Russia improperly influenced or attempted to influence the election.  All political elections are predicated on the assumption that votes are freely given and without undue bias brought on my non-state actors (like Russia or any non-U.S. organization).

Investigations offer the senior leader a number of advantages.

  • First, when led by someone who is credible and unbiased, the result should be the truth and not unduly influenced or biased.
  • Second, resources are dedicated toward the investigation and separate from the senior leader who has called for answers the investigation will answer.
  • Third, good investigations are done in a professional manner; ensuring timeliness, accuracy, and thoroughness.
  • Fourth, investigations should provide well-reasoned recommendations on how to avoid problems which formed the basis for the investigation.

When professionally led, narrowly focused, and quickly completed, a good investigation answers the questions raised by the senior person initiating it.  In the long-term resources are saved; in particular, lives may be saved if the investigation involves safety issues like the recent U.S. Navy analysis into recent ship accidents in the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Investigations can also be used unethically.  It is not uncommon to find some to be politically motivated to punish leaders or to harass.  Good senior leaders can recognize when this is being done and put a stop to it.  Those who allow an investigation to move forward without a proper reason or with inadequate resources, guidelines, and limitations are themselves morally corrupt.

Leaders would do well to become familiar with any formal procedures, rules, or regulations that govern investigations within their organizations and ensure that they are carried out properly.  By doing so they use a valuable tool to help those within the organization and improve upon it.

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[Note:]  I have a small mini-series on Leadership Toolboxes here at theLeaderMaker.com.


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.