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“If that does not suit you, then get out!” – Upholding Values and Facing the Fire in a Crisis

The Australian Army, a proud force currently serving in its longest war ever in Afghanistan, is in crisis. Apparently a number of soldiers, allegedly including officers in leadership positions, have been circulating demeaning and sexually abusive online information against women.

And all of this at a time when the Aussie Army is aggressively recruiting women.

Officers must be "worthy of the best traditions of the Australian Army... if that does not suit you, then get out."

Officers must be “worthy of the best traditions of the Australian Army… if that does not suit you, then get out.”

So, faced with a potential massive loss of international credibility and trust, what do you do?  What public relations counsel would you offer? Well, if you are Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Chief of Army for Australia armed forces, you tackle it head on. And I mean head on in the highest profile available.

In possibly the most remarkable video response to a crisis that this author has ever seen, Gen. Morrison states it plainly. There is no spin here. The Australian Army possesses a strong and critical legacy of demonstrated values. Sexual abuse and corruption of leadership are most definitely not acceptable.

So if you’re in the Australian Army and you don’t buy into this value structure, what is Gen. Morrison’s clear-cut direction? “If that does not suit you, then get out!”

If you ever wondered how you might face a crisis, this is a must-see video.

What does Gen. Morrison say lies ahead for him? Outlining the long and positive history of the Australian Army in defending freedom and protecting innocents, the General makes it crystal clear: “I will be ruthless in ridding the Army of people who cannot live up to its values…If you’re not up to it, find something else to do with your life. There is no place for you in this band of brothers and sisters.”

Congratulations, General, for showing us all that values are not dead. And perhaps equally importantly, how to leverage personal courage to defend those values by facing the fire in the most meaningful way possible.

 

By Michael Snyder, Managing Principal, The MEK Group

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