The Ethical Coach Leader challenges cultural mindsets and introduces new ideas on how to apply desperately needed teachings in ethics, integrity, honor and good character.
The Ethical Coach Leader: Developing Honor and Integrity by Dwight Johnson
Genre: Personal Growth
Publisher: Next Century Publishing
Release date: February 2016
Trade paperback, 110 pages
Content Rating: PG
Ethics are a growing concern in all sectors of American culture. From businesses to all levels of schooling, as well as nonprofit companies, the values that guide business and teaching criteria are under scrutiny. But, does it take a scholarly textbook to understand how to create an ethical culture? No, Dwight Johnson has delved into the problems and presents practical solutions in his easy to read book, The Ethical Coach Leader: Developing Honor and Integrity.
A fiction book that has universal application, Johnson creates an intriguing story about a college coach who finds out that his star athlete failed a steroid test, putting the coach in the cross hairs of an ethical dilemma. During a couple of restless nights of sleep, Coach is visited by five ghosts: the Ghost of Example, the Ghost of Education, the Ghost of Experience, the Ghost of E-information, and the Ghost of Environment. Each has different advice for Coach on how to resolve his ethical dilemma. With the dreams haunting his every waking moment, Coach also seeks advice from two of his former mentors. The lessons Coach learns can be applied to any industry, business, school or individual life.
The Ethical Coach Leader challenges cultural mindsets and introduces new ideas on how to apply desperately needed teachings in ethics, integrity, honor and good character. This is a must read book for anyone who has influence on others or is in a leadership role.
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani
Dwight Johnson has written a simple yet effective tale of a volleyball coach caught in an ethical dilemma when his star player tests positive for steroids. When confronted with this problem, the coach feels the weight of the dilemma crashing down on him and must decide what to do and how to best handle it. He must take into consideration many factors.
Reminiscent of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the coach is visited in a dream by five ghosts who freely dispense advice to help him come up with a solution. Each ghost represents a discipline in what the author calls the Wagon Wheel of Decision Making, a model to determine which method best suits any given situation.
This novella is told in first person by coach himself, which I felt allowed the reader to see and experience the dilemma through his eyes. The book ends with an explanation of the five disciplines and the author's personal words on the blueprint plan for education ethics which involves educating oneself through extended reading on the topic of ethics, practising it in our daily lives and teaching the next generation. I agree wholeheartedly with this blueprint.
Books such as this one that tell a common story to address ethics, integrity and honor in our society is important. It's a growing problem and although the solution may seem black and white to some, it usually never is because the action of one person can impact a family, a team, a school, a community, an organization, a city, etc. The more people involved the harder it is to do what is right even when you are convinced it is the right thing to do. Courage and ethics go hand in hand.
In view of this I would have liked the characters in the story to have been more fleshed out, better developed through this dilemma. We get to understand how the problem affected coach, but not so much the star player, his family or the team mates. I would have liked to have seen more debates and dialogue from the other people affected so as to dissect the problem so to speak and teach through example. However, the message still comes through very well and I enjoyed reading this tale.
I'd recommend this book to anyone in a leadership position, whether in business, sports, school or an organization.
Dwight Johnson resides in Colorado Springs where he works at the United States Air Force Academy. He is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel who was a Squadron Commander three times and a Division Chief twice. He also served as the Department Head of Services at the Air Force Institute of Technology, where he taught Customer Service and Total Quality Service.
In 2012, Dwight was awarded the General Billy J Boles Mentorship Award for the Air Force Academy for mentoring cadets.