The last 48 hours has seen social media and news channels outraged at the latest corruption allegations against the organisation that’s been led for 17 years by Sepp Blatter. But amongst the outrage, the petitions, the MPs calling for his resignation; the response from Mr Blatter reveals much about the President’s leadership style
36 hours after the story broke that the FBI had escorted 6 FIFA officials from a Zurich hotel and arrested them; Blatter’s much maligned statement included:
“We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all the time.” He went on to assert that if people wanted to do wrong, they’d also find a way to hide it.
While that’s undoubtedly true, what does it say about the culture and leadership within FIFA? Where’s the moral compass? The underpinning values? The motivating sense of purpose that drives the individuals that work there to operate with personal integrity?
Is there a word more synonymous with command and control than ‘monitor’? Engaged individuals who strongly align their own purpose with the organisations don’t need monitoring. They need empowering and freedom to ‘do the right thing’. Then they intuitively hold their own moral compass.
Mr Blatter asserted “many people hold me ultimately responsible for the global football community”. Yep. That’s the invisible strapline beneath the glorious title President.
Whilst the debate on the current controversy will fill our social media for some time, I don’t think many of us would debate where the responsibility for leading and championing an empowered, value driven culture starts. Where else but the President.