Ethical Leadership - The experience of JCU's 3rd IBD cohort

Educating Children about Ethics

Who:  Gesu 7th grade girls’ basketball team
When: December 3rd

Seminar Part 1: Virtuous Leader Traits

Courage – Overcoming fears to do the right thing

Integrity – Honest and trustworthy

Humility – Know your strengths and weaknesses

Optimism – Expecting Positive Future Outcomes

Compassion – Show concern and care for others

Justice – Treating others fairly

Examples of Virtuous Leaders Provided to Children

Candace Parker (WNBA)  


·  First woman to dunk in the NCAA tournament and dunk twice in one game.

·  Named academic All-American of the year for women’s basketball in 2008

·  1st WNBA player to win WNBA MVP and WNBA rookie of the year in the same year

·  Only woman who has been awarded USA today player of the year

Pat Summitt (Tennessee Lady Vols Coach):


·  All-time winningest coach in men and women’s NCAA basketball and one of three coaches with 1,000 victories

·  In inaugural class of Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

·  She has a 100% graduation rate for all women’s basketball players that stay all 4 years.

·  In 2008 was the first recipient of the Joe Lapchick Character Award which honors basketball coaches with high character

·  Involved in charities such as the United Way, Race for the Cure, and Juvenile Diabetes

·  Won 8 national titles through her 36 years at Tennessee

Mia Hamm (US Women’s Soccer Team):


·  Has scored more goals in international soccer play than any male or female soccer player

·  Inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007

·  Youngest woman to win world championship when the US won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991

·  One of two women and American selected for the FIFA 100 which recognized 100 greatest soccer players of all time

·  Established the Mia Hamm Foundation to support patients and families receiving bone marrow transplants

Mallory Holtman (Softball – Central Washington University):


·  Won NCAA sportsmanship award when she carried an injured opponent around the bases after the opponent hit a home run in a softball game

·  Won 2008 Espy for Best Moment

·  Currently the head softball coach at Central Washington University

Seminar Part 2: Bad Leader Traits

Rigid – unable to accept new ideas, changing conditions

Callous – uncaring, unkind

Corrupt – Leaders who lie, cheat, and steal

Evil – use power to commit physical or psychological harm


Character Skits Performed for Children Showing Bad Leadership:

Teams for Skit Questions

Team 1 = Coach

Team 2 = Chair

 Rigid (Coach): This coach does not accept player’s new offense and defense ideas or acknowledge new teams in his division. He regularly has seasons with more loses than wins.

Players: Hey coach we have this new team in the catholic league and they run a zone defense, should we practice a new offense so we can beat them?

Coach: NO! We will keep running our same offense because it usually works. Who cares if this team runs a zone we’ll force them to play man to man defense on us.

 Why is this person showing bad leadership?


 He wasn’t willing to do something for the good of the team.  He was just thinking about himself.


He was unable to accept new defense.

Callous (Coach): This coach is uncaring and unkind to her players. She regularly downplays their needs (for water or breaks). She has the nickname “Queen of mean”.

Player 1: Coach it’s my grandmother’s birthday on Friday, would it be ok if I missed practice so I make her 92nd birthday party, it might be her last.

Coach: Are you kidding? Run 5 more suicides before you leave tonight!

Player 2: Coach I’m really thirsty, can I grab some water really quick?

Coach: You think you need a break? Think about the fourth quarter, are you going to ask to be pulled out of the game because you’re a little thirsty? Keep playing or you’re benched next game! 

Why is this person showing bad leadership?


Wasn’t caring that grandma was old and might not live longer.  Player 2 was in dire need or water and the coach wouldn’t let them get water.


Coach is not listening to needs of the players.

Corrupt (Referee):  This referee believes in home court advantage and makes bad calls against the visiting team. (Open scene with home coach exchanging money with referee)

Referee: Traveling on the offense!

Visiting Coach: No way ref! I watched her jump stop!

Referee: coach do you want a technical!?

New Scene (late whistle);

Home Coach: Ref that was a foul!

Referee: Foul on the defense!

Visiting coach: Ref that was all ball!

Referee: that’s it coach technical foul, one more and you’re outta here!

Why is this person showing bad leadership?


The ref was lying and cheating the players out of a win.


 The ref was calling bad calls on purpose.


Evil (all star): This player regularly scores more points and gets more rebounds then her teammates however her team typically has a losing record.

All Star: Guys you really played bad tonight! I had 25 points and 10 rebounds! What did the rest of you do? Why do we keep losing!?

Player 1: I had 4 steals but when I passed you the ball you tried to shoot when you were double covered. I bet you didn’t have even 1 assist tonight!

All Star: you’re right; I didn’t have any assists because nobody on this team can shoot the ball but me, that’s why we always lose.

Player 2: maybe if you played some defense and weren’t such a ball hog we would win more games!

All Star: if you say that again I’ll ask the coach to bench you.

Why is this person showing bad leadership?


Teammates should support each other and bring each other up when they are down.


The all-star was not supporting other players.  If you’re a team you need to support everyone else.

Examples of Bad Leaders Provided to Children

Marion Jones (Track & Field)



Marion Jones is former world champion track and field athlete. She won 5 medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. She admitted to the use of steriods and was forced to turn over her prestigious Olympic medals and accepted a two year suspension from track and field which ultimately led to her retirement from the sport forever. 

Michael Vick (Football)


Michael Vick, the first African American quarterback to be selected first in the overall NFL draft and a 6 year veteran marquee NFL star whose jersey is worn by thousands of children, pleads guilty to his role in a dog fighting operation that resulted in cruelty and death to many dogs.

Tonya Harding (Figure Skating)


Tonya Harding is an American figure skating champion. She was also the first American women to complete the triple axel jump in competition. She was the best of the best and has been compared to Brett Favre or Wayne Gretzsky in terms of ability. However, she became notorious when her husband conspired with another party to attack Harding’s skating competition, Nancy Kerrigan, at a training session which resulted in Kerrigan’s legs being broken.

Tim Donaghy (NBA)


Tim was a professional basketball referee for 13 NBA seasons who officiated over 772 games. He was accused of fixing games and sentenced to 11 months in prison. As a result of the scandal, the rules governing the referees of the NBA were changed forever.

What did everybody learn from the Seminar?

 If you’re a coach you need to respect players and be fair and kind.  If your not then the players might not want to play the sport or play for the coach. 
Even if you’re the star player, you cannot be rude to the players and you need to pass them the ball.  I will use these words the rest of my life.

Try to remain calm when the ref is not being fair.

In order to be a good team you need to respect the other players.


Coaches need to accept our ideas even if they are bad.

Kaitlin (KK)
Have to be nice to team and support them to be successful.

Only way to prosper is to work together and to the fullest.  The players need to worry about how they can help the team instead of the team helping them.  

Corruption dissuades individual athlete from playing that sport and negatively influences life choices.