This weekend, HBO will release "Paterno", and Simon & Schuster announced the September release date for my book, "Successful Leaders Aren't Bullies".
The film stars Al Pacino as Paterno and chronicles Paterno's fall from grace in November 2011 when he eclipsed the NCAA's all time coaching wins record AND was fired from PSU for his culpability in allowing Sandusky to sexually molest young boys.
I worked as an offensive line coach at Penn State with Paterno and Sandusky in 1987 and 1988 and their bizarre power dynamics and narcissism turned me off to coaching.
It also motivated me to earn an MBA and help organizations rid themselves of bullies and bad management practices.
The film appears to allow the viewer to decide whether Paterno was complicit and knowingly allowed Sandusky to molest boys for the sake of Paterno's drive to become college football's all time most winning football coach and to protect his and Penn State's reputations.
Having dedicated my life to helping leaders and organizations stop, address, and transcend vile bullying behaviors to help organizations thrive, two truths have proven evident and consistent in officials in management positions where bullying, including the sexual abuse of children, flourishes. Either
1. at best, due to their own narcissism, selfishness, and deceptions, these officials do not have the moral fortitude to understand and acknowledge the evil being practiced under their noses, or
2. at worst, these officials knowingly keep these abusive and bullying behaviors secret to remain in power and to maintain their and their organizations' false appearances.
As a protected, and bullying, assistant coach under Rip Engle at Penn State, Paterno was known by players as "Joe the rat". He knew, and would screw, on every player who stepped out of line. He knew everything about everyone.
I found this to be the case when I worked for him when he was head coach. He'd even create typical bullying traps in an attempt to target and catch players he suspected might tarnish his brand and image. With Paterno, I choose option 2. He made it his job to know everything about everybody in the Penn State football program, including Sandusky. Paterno was complicit.
These are the options, so you decide. Either Paterno was too evil to recognize Sandusky's evil or he knowingly kept Sandusky's evil secret to protect his own ass.
Just as a coach, who was trying to encourage me to work for the late, great, Don James instead of Paterno said to me: "don't let JoePa smoke you." His veneer was slick and his brand was impressive.
But, there is no way in hell Sandusky's brand of evil ever, ever, exists under the watch of a true and great leader, or man.
Paterno was a phony and I only thought his duplicity involved his pontificating about winning football games the right way while overseeing a corrupt football program. A fish stinks from the head.
Enjoy the movie, and I hope you enjoy my book, written to help good leaders and bullying targets stop and transcend bullying, scheduled to be released in September.
Thank you for your consideration and support.