When Self-interest Comes Before Your People

When Self-interest Comes Before Your People

The main story

With the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill’s semester starting up on August 10th, the question remained, “how will the university handle its students’ protection during a COVID world?”

To no one’s surprise: pretty poorly.

At the behest of the county's health department, university leaders opted to resume classes and on-campus housing as usual rather than wait and move to a virtual environment for five weeks.

While cases of COVID were initially reported low, it only took one week after opening for several clusters to appear and spike cases to hundreds of students.

With one last pull of the heartstrings, UNC system President Peter Hans pointed the finger back at the students for “behaving irresponsibly” and avoided taking ownership of the situation.

Since the aftermath, UNC leadership has moved classes to a remote setting and refunded students for any on-campus housing commitments.

Teachable Moment

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to look after your people when the stakes are high. Sticking to decisions that only benefit your business rarely turns out well and leads to more significant problems.