The fall of John Terry

According to John Maxwell, effective leadership is based on maximising influence.  The moment a leader loses credibility, his influence starts to diminish. There has been a lot of furore in the British football scene over John Terry. In the last 2 weeks, the papers have been busy with allegations about his adultery.  He has been accused of having an affair with one of his English team mates’ girlfriend. This has not gone down well with the general public and Terry has been repeatedly booed by opposition club supporters. His football club, Chelsea, has however given their full support and backing to their embattled captain. His credibility as England’s national captain has been tarnished and his refusal to resign has led to his sacking as the captain of the national team.

The golf world is still reeling from the damaging news of Tiger Woods’ adultery a few months ago and he has taken time away from the sport to salvage his marriage and escape the media scrutiny. Woods’ credibility, just like Terry’s, as an ideal role model has been tarnished and several of his sponsors have severed their links with him. His tarnished credibility is not something that they want to be associated with. It is uncertain whether Tiger Woods’ great form on the golf course will fully recover from his scandal.

There is a pressure on leaders to live a life of integrity in both their public and private lives. Any disparity has consequences which can destroy the leader’s credibility. Perry Noble, the Senior Pastor of New Spring Church in North Carolina, recently twittered that “when a leader loses his integrity he will eventually lose his influence”. These two leaders have lost their credibility with their peers and the public, therefore compromising their integrity. It is shame that no matter what they do, they can’t regain some of their lost influence.

9 Comments

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9 Responses to The fall of John Terry

  1. Tunde Babs Sule

    Quite good!

    What an expository!

    This is a good write up though!

  2. seun ojo

    I’m not John terry’s biggest fan and I don’t think I will but the fact still remain the woman and agreed as consensual adult to do what they have done do why is every killing jt and no one is saying anything about the woman. I’m not saying what he did was smart, but for gods sake this bimbo was accepting to sell her story to the highest bidder yet more so one seem to see anything wrong with what she’s done. And as for those saying people in the public eye are role models, they are the dumbest people on earth. Why would you make done u ain’t never met or would never meet your role model? I believe ones role model is someone you can have on the other side of the phone who can give u advice on whatever you want go do, not some sport guy or artist cos they earn crazy money.

  3. seun B

    A refreshing take on the issue. I found the link between integrity and influence insightful.

  4. Vincent A

    There are a lot of issues that need addressing here than we care to see or acknowledge. I am not condoning what Terry did. But very few people will look at the underlying issues. Why did he not respect himself and his wife in the first place, does he have discpline in this area of his life?, what are his priorities? (is it to make money and enjoy all the freedoms that come with it or is it to build a legacy as a very good footballer who has intergrity, honour and discpline). I suspect he doesn’t think about the latter as much.
    Perhaps he now understands the concept of “with freedom come responsibility”, or maybe when he is in the 2nd half of his football career (he may start to do so). Does he have many friends who tell him the truth or is he surrounded by ‘yes’ people who tell him what he wants to hear. (In life there is always a need for true friends, they are rather difficult to come by however).
    What morals were instilled in him when he was young (indeed, where any instilled or was he left to pick up things as a lot of children are left to do nowadays). I am not his greatest fan, but i will attempt to give him the benefit of the doubt (for no man is perfect).
    On the England team, there are not many people who we can call true role models in the very literal sense. I am sure he will ride the storm and come out of this. He is a very good footballer and one of the most consistent defenders England have. (They need him, more than he needs them. No John Terry, and it will be very difficult to defend the 18 yard box and the goalkeeper).
    I hope he wil come out of this a better man, not just changed for the media (i.e. public apology and giving to charity to show remorse), but i hope he changes in his heart, admits to himself the problems he has and does the right corrections. That way we may not hear of any further scandals involving him and we will see a better John Terry, one who is not just a good footballer but a good role model.
    Everyone deserves a second chance, as such, i wish him well.

  5. Ade

    The standards are higher for John Terry than they are for Vanessa Peroncell because JT is a public figure and Vanessa is a bimbo (like Seun Ojo so aptly put it! )

    JT is England & Chelsea captain, as well as role model for kids all over England and indeed the world(rightly or wrongly so). His indiscretion is therefore more likely to create greater furore than Vanessa’s.

    It probably is’nt fair, but it’s the price you pay for becoming a public figure. Like Olaojo said, higher standards of morals and integrity are expected of leaders and the public will not take lightly to your indiscretion though they themselves probably indulge in the same acts/actions.

    Hypocrisy if you ask me, but c’est la vie.

  6. adelaide

    I think we treat sports stars, actors, singers as demi- gods we end up having these expectations for them that are unrealistic. I am certainly not condoning any of their behaviour but are you telling me that we all dont have struggles in our lives. Can they not be given a chance to try again. Society is starting to have a no failure is acceptable attitude/ culture, which is nonsensical. Nothing is 100% risk free but leaders are expected to live up these high expectations and clearly there will be disappointment. you only have to look at the turnover of CEO’S in the NHS to see what I mean.
    These 2 men will become real role models when they rehabilitate themselves and come back with a testimony.

    I would like to hear comments about the South African President and his many wives girlfriends and children or is our moral outrage at our role models and leaders culturally biased?

  7. ade

    very interesting point made by adelaide. a zero-tolerance approach to celebrity indiscretion by the wider society will have one of two effects:

    1. make celebs clean up their act n strive for the high moral standards that society expects of them; OR

    2. create more ‘closet freak celebs’ who will strive to maintain a jekyll & hide lifestyle seeking balance between who society expects them to be and who they really are

    either way it smacks of hypocricy, but its the price celebs and leaders have to pay for the fame and fortune they enjoy

    the public will not accept celebs n leaders who are subject to very same desires and cravings as they are…that infallibility and existence far above typical human standards are the ‘krpytonite’ of celebs and leaders and once they lose that veneer they cease to be superman/batman and become clark kent/bruce wayne

    as for mr zuma’s shenanigans and the public reaction to it, i think its reflective of cultural notions of leadership as you have pointed out. in western europe and even asia, a leader who indulged in a tenth of mr zuma’s escapades would not only have lost his position but would have irredeemably tarnished his name and reputation. alas in africa and perhaps the middle east, we do not take these things that seriously, hence zuma can go navigate with impunity from one utterly shocking scandal to the next

    in saner climes, he would long have been a footnote in history

  8. Jeme

    Its been aptly put that; “with leadership comes responsibility” It however appears that a lot of people want ‘leadership’ but not ‘responsibility’. Its high time we recognise that the two concepts, go hand in hand.

    Its unfortunate that we are currently witnessing the most severe cases of moral decadence of our time, but at the end of the day, it boils down to one thing that; “you cannot give what you don’t have”. We must therefore as young adults or adults, start considering the legacy we want to leave our children and generation to come.

    We must begin to instil the right virtues in our children and even ourselves, if perchance we didn’t get them instilled in us as children. That’s the only way we can salvage whats left of this society.

  9. Ogechi

    Leaders have to go that extra mile in being responsible for their actions, it’s an unspoken requirement.
    The fact is that a leader, no matter how little the capacity, is a focal point. While “followers” may ignore certain “human errors”, there are those unforgettable and therefore unforgivable sins that will forever change people’s perspectives and, as such, willingness to associate in any way with the leader/person involved in a scandal.
    It’s time for leaders to step up and stop pulling the ‘i make mistakes, i’m a human’ card whenever it suits them. Everything hidden will one day come to light.

    Meanwhile for those of us who are up and coming leaders… let’s take a stand and refuse to compromise on our morals. All will be well!

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