I am certain you, like millions, are flabbergasted about what happened last night at the Miss Universe Pageant. Everyone is still a buzz about last night’s mishap. History’s first……or at least the first one admitted.
I feel for everyone involved in this fiasco. I feel for Ms. Colombia because of the roller coaster ride she was taken on. To be crowned the winner, allowed to take the walk of fame, to wave down the crowd and feel the rush of successfully representing her country, family, and the world was exhilarating I’m certain. I can not imagine her true emotions to find she was not the winner. The dreaded moment of having the crown removed from her. Wow!
Then Ms. Philippines to be announced in disarray, not really knowing what to feel because she really didn’t know what was going on. Standing in waiting, trying to unravel the mishap. Being told to take her walk of fame only after she was stripped of her rightful joy. Watching the crown being stripped from the other and placed on her head. Not really being given the celebratory opportunity she prepared for. Unbelievable!
Then there is Steve Harvey!
You can best believe, his days as a pageant host are numbered….down to zero moving forward. But, based upon what I, along with millions, saw in the moment, I must commend Mr. Harvey. As a leader with character, you have to take responsibility for your actions no matter the consequences. I am certain Steve will face some consequences as a result of this mistake. However, his character did not allow the consequences nor the circumstances stand in the way of doing what was right.
In life and in business, mistakes happen, and quite frankly they happen for a reason. Right now in the immediate moments no one knows the reason but, there is one. I can’t imagine how Mr. Harvey feels. He made the biggest mistake of his career in front of the world. But it’s not the mistake that matters. It’s how he handled it that does. He didn’t cover it up. He didn’t attempt to find an excuse. He walked out and exposed the issue, apologized and asked for forgiveness. He took full responsibility for his error.
Now, I am not a Steve Harvey fan, but I commend him on how he handled the situation. Yes, I feel really bad for those young women, but believe me, this incident will catapult both their careers. They will both benefit from this moment in time. Mr. Harvey on the other hand will have to face some harsh consequences as a result a making this major mistake.
We see poor leadership every single day in our government, in our churches, in our workplaces, in our schools, heck even in our homes. It’s rare that we get to exhibit good leadership. Leadership that is willing to take the fall for their missteps.
Below are five lessons I found in Steve Harvey’s faux pas.
1. Leaders MUST pay attention to critical details. A long time friend debated me pretty strongly on Facebook this morning. His point was that Mr. Harvey rests comfortably in the fact of NOT knowing the details. He jokes about mutilating the names of contestants on his shows. But this one last time, I am certain Mr. Harvey is wishing he paid attention to the details. When you are given a leadership position, it’s your job to know the important details. You can not rely upon someone else. Teleprompters malfunction, humans intervene, mistakes happen. Knowing the details will save you from fatal human error and help you to be properly prepared for things that can inevitably go wrong. Don’t step onto the stage unless and until you know the critical details.
2. Leaders MUST properly vet resources that will serve well in representation of their organizations. My Facebook debate revealed some known shortcomings of Mr. Harvey. First, he is known not to take certain things too seriously. He is also known to miss the important details. Most importantly, he has a certain reputation when it comes to working with beautiful women. In this instance, could it be the organization did not vet this one properly? If we were to do a strength finder assessment on him we would probably find details is not his strength, and that unfortunately and fortunately, is not who he is. If those who have worked with him more closely recognize that in him, then it shouldn’t have been assumed he was ready to take on such a feat as hosting a pageant. Vetting is a big deal that requires leadership to properly match resources and their reputations to the mission of organization. Vetting 101 says, don’t place resources out front that can not nor will not represent you well.
3. Leaders MUST be willing to pull the trigger. At the end of the day, this did not show well for the Miss Universe Pageant organization. Mistake or not, the leadership of the organization must be willing to pull the trigger and quickly. Their reputation and credibility, among other things, are at stake and their brand must be protected. Taking too long to pull the trigger is a fatal error many companies make.
4. Leaders MUST face up to their mistakes regardless of the circumstances. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Regardless of the circumstances and the following consequences, leaders must face up to their mistakes, and quickly. Stand up and and stand out to the crowd and admit your mistakes. Take responsibility for your actions. Be willing to be held accountable for what you’ve done. The only way to build a strong following is to be a strong leader and strong leaders take a stand for what’s right.
5. Leaders MUST learn from their mistakes. If he wasn’t ready for last night’s event, we hope Mr. Harvey will be prepared for the next one. We all make mistakes. How we handle them is what matters most. Mr. Harvey will get even more of my respect if he truly learns from this. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning his behavior by any means and again hopefully this extremely costly lesson will be learned. However, I tend to move beyond the who in what you were and look for the who in what you are now. The proof is sill in the pudding and yet to be revealed but his actions last night and this morning from what I’ve seen haven’t been one of pointing fingers at anyone other than himself. We will see what happens beyond this point but looking just at the instance and what happened in that moment, I stand commending his actions for recognizing his mistake.
The facts, believe me, are still unfolding and the ones with the most money will determine which facts prevail. However, I believe we can all take a few leadership lessons from this mishap. As you evaluate the events from last night, consider the leadership lessons and how they can help you and your organization, because there is a lesson in every mishap.
I am a Business Consultant and Growth Strategist who knows through first hand experience what it takes to grow and run a successful business. I know what it really means to remain in the game for 18 consistent and consecutive years. I know what is required to take a business from start up to multi million dollars in annual revenues. I have successfully developed, coached, and implemented growth strategies that have helped hundreds of businesses succeed. I know what it’s like to own and operate multiple businesses simultaneously. As a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Leadership Coach, and an Adjunct Professor of small business concepts, I not only have experience, but the credentials to go along with it. I have meaningful connections with officials within the U.S. Small Business Administration and other Federal and state governments. I AM someone one who walks the talk!
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Lisa D. Anderson
Small Business Consultant & Growth Strategist
Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC