In business school I took an excellent course that included a segment on crisis management. We did an exercise where each person in the class played a CEO addressing a crisis in front of a staged media who were firing difficult questions. The whole thing was videotaped so you could watch how goofy you looked facing the pressure. I was at Indiana at the time so during my turn at the podium I’m pretty sure I tossed a chair in frustration and maybe as a salute to Coach Knight.
Anyway, I have to offer up a real salute to Dave Brandon for how this was handled today. From the top down he’s a complete pro. You know you’re witnessing pure gold when a guy who wasn’t around at the time takes full responsibility for the NCAA infractions and it doesn’t prompt a follow-up question. After I chuckled I found myself kind of believing him.
Another moment for me was when Mitch Albom offered up a couple questions via teleconference. They were pretty bad questions and his first (asking if probation would be involved) demonstrated he hadn’t reviewed the materials or even read a tweet for that matter. Brandon handled it like a champ. He respectfully addressed his questions and each time, tactfully steered media giant Albom back to the materials.
I didn’t speak to Brandon directly after the conference for fear I’d end up cheerfully agreeing to cut his lawn this weekend.