President Nixon’s Watergate Scandal as an Example of Breaking Trust

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Updated: Mar 27, 2023
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There are two types of outcomes: good and bad. There are two ways of running a business: right and wrong, and there are two types of behavior: good and bad. A person should find a balance between the outcome and their behavior. ‘Being the leader doesn’t make you one, because leaders don’t automatically get the respect and acceptance of their group members; so in order to earn the leadership of their group and have a positive influence on the group members, leaders learn some specific skills and methods.

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’-Thomas Gordon.

Good behavior can lead to good outcomes, but the real world is different than what can be said on paper. A person may have a jerk for a boss, but that boss gets the necessary outcome for a business. Personally, having a boss that is determined, trustworthy, honest, dedicated, and can admit to being wrong is better than having a boss that has none of those but gets the job done.

There have been numerous scandals in the world, all relating to greedy owners and employees that want to make more money. An example would be the Freddie Mac Scandal of 2003. Major company participants intentionally misstated and even understated the earnings causing $5 billion to be missing. One could say that communication and honest could have been a factor in helping get this scandal found early.

Leaders who care about their fellow employees could possibly gain loyalty and lifelong benefits. They will lead by example; if a person wants other members to show certain behaviors, then a leader has to show them first. If a leader does not do it, why should the others?  Communicating with your employees is important. Talking to others builds trust, and if someone keeps secrets, then that bridge is burned. Real leaders are direct and honest in everything and will talk to people as often as they can.  If there is no communication, then people will assume there is something to hide. No one will trust those who do not keep their word.  If there is information and a person cannot tell another, then just say what you can and let the team know the rest when you are allowed.

A leader should create trust in their employees. Without trust, then, companies face the reality of losing employees and clients. An excellent example of someone breaking trust would be President Nixon’s Watergate Scandal. A person would hope to trust the President of the United States, but in June 1972, a break-in at the Democratic National Committee HQ revealed that Nixon abused his powers along with his administration.  Progress can only be made in a Company if there is good leadership in place to aid the company in moving forward. 

Leaders (but not just them) should admit to making mistakes and acknowledge limits. Mistakes are made, and a leader will admit to their own mistakes and set a new direction to fix the mistake. A leader will also accept responsibility for their actions, whether good or bad. President Dwight Eisenhower said, “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.” Sadly, many leaders will only take credit when an idea goes well. When an idea goes wrong, they will say it is another’s fault. 

True leaders share the work. Nobody can do all the work. A person should be able to divide tasks among other capable people.  In doing so, the current leader(s) are investing and creating the next leaders. A leader is calm and collected in rough waters. No one is truly born a leader, though everyone can learn to be a good leader. 

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President Nixon's Watergate Scandal as an Example of Breaking Trust. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from