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Pause to Consider

You are a member of your
agency’s Leadership Team. Consider these brief scenarios and how you would
handle them?

You are a program manager with
a neighborhood center providing a variety of services for neighborhood
residents. Jerry is an adolescent client who was expelled from your after
school tutoring program due to an incident where he was caught passing small
green pills to another student. Jerry’s father – who also is an agency Board
member – calls to tell you Jerry will not pass this year and may not graduate
on time if he does not continue tutoring. Jerry has not been in trouble before
and was just doing a favor for a friend, according to his father. He is a good kid and being expelled from
your program is too severe.
Jerry’s father goes on to say, I don’t want to take advantage of being a
Board member but think you should make an exception for Jerry.

Your agency provides foster
care services for abused and neglected children. Bob and Harold are a gay
couple who have been working for many years with children exhibiting difficult
behavior issues. They ask to adopt one of the girls they have been fostering
for a year or so. The Executive Director of your agency’s primary authorizing
entity hears about this and privately asks you to stop the adoption process,
since she thinks some of her Board members may be unhappy about it. She tells
you, I don’t want you to think I have a
problem with this but I have a couple of Board members….

David Martinez is a local
accountant who has helped your agency from time to time with setting up agency
accounting records and with developing procedures for things such as managing
agency credit cards and internal cash controls. He always tells you to call him
any time and never says anything about his getting paid. It is now time for the
agency’s annual audit for which the agency normally pays several thousand
dollars. You mention this in passing to David one morning at the Rotary
breakfast. Later, David calls you, About
that audit. Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it as soon as I can work it
in. I’m in a rush but let’s pin this down the first chance we get.
You also
have a personal friend whose accounting company did the audit last year and
knows the audit is coming up soon.

You are told confidentially by
one of your agency’s therapists an area physician
reportedly advised two clients with whom she works to stop coming to
your agency. The physician referred them to another agency in the community and
encouraged them to switch. According to your staff person, the clients said the
physician had some not so nice things
to say about your agency but the clients did not give any detail. You had also
heard this same report from someone you were talking with at an open house at
your child’s school.

Mrs. Thomas has been an active
agency supporter for many years. She has been a strong agency advocate with
your primary authorizer, has helped with fund drives and other agency
activities, and has recruited several of her
influential friends
to support agency initiatives and causes. You call her to ask if she will help
organize a clothing drive for the area’s disadvantaged children. She says, Not this time. I’ve been really busy. You’ll
need to find someone else to help out. I don’t think I’ll be able to help out
much anymore since I’ve gotten so busy with other things
. You ask her if
there is a problem you can help with but she declines to discuss it more. She
pleasant enough about it but somewhat abruptly ends the

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