Major League Baseball handed down it’s punishment for its investigation of cheating allegations, against the Astros. The team’s current and former GMs, and their manager were all suspended from duties, effective immediately, ending after the next World Series. The team will also lose key picks, in the next 2 drafts, and will have to pay a $5 million fine. The bench coach, at the center of the issue, is now the manager of the Boston Red Sox, who are also being investigated. It’s very likely he will face a longer suspension, given his role in the matter. So what leadership lessons can we learn from this situation? First, you don’t have to know the details to know that the culture of the organization didn’t place a high enough value on integrity. There were leaders, higher up the chain, that could have killed the idea the first time it was mentioned. However, the pressure to win was apparently valued so much that the idea was allowed to root. As leaders, if we don’t emphasize and eximplify integrity, we’ll end up with a failure story of our own. The second lesson is leadership failures don’t just effect the leader, they effect everyone. In this particular example, the decision to go against the MLB rules, impacted the Astros and will eventually impact the Red Sox. Fans of both teams, and baseball, in general, will question the integrity of the game going forward. The fact both teams won a World Series, in the years they are accused of cheating will bring into question the validity of their titles. As a baseball fan, I think they should vacate their titles and all wins, but I digress. The point is a slip in integrity can cascade into something no one would have ever anticipated. The phrase, no one will get hurt is commonly how these decisions are justified. Finally, if you are instilling integrity in your rising and existing leaders, it’s a great time to start. Assuming they will do the right thing isn’t a good strategy. Creating a culture, which values integrity, begins today. Don’t let the story of the Astros, become a shared experience. Start by coaching your team now. If your organization doesn’t have coaching in place let’s talk. It’s always a good time to develop your leadership!