» helping one another

Saturday, 5 January A.D. 2013 @ 3:41 PM

Consequently, as a professorial leader who is interested in enhancing the performance of my educational organization (which includes me) by reducing or eliminating the anaclitic depression blues, I write the students in my introductory class a letter. I have found that I have to present my thoughts in writing so that students can assimilate the content at their convenience; they simply can't seem to understand what I say if I profess my point of view orally.

My letter reads as follows: “You may take examinations alone, with another person, or with as many other people as you like. 'Other people' includes classmates, parents, children, spouses, students from other classes, professors or 'hired guns.' I go absolutely blind with rage if I catch anyone cheating. I define cheating as the failure to assist others on the exams if they request it” (Harvey, 1997a)

How do you think our dean reacted when one of my outraged (and terrified) colleagues, apparently in an effort to avoid suffering from the anaclitic depression blues, showed him the letter? For starters, he invited me to his office for “a little discussion.”...

He burst forth in a voice powerful enough to dislodge the green eyeshades from the furrowed brows of my beloved colleagues ensconced in the deep recesses of the accounting department, “Professor Harvey, are you aware of the absolute chaos that would be generated at the George Washington University if everyone began to help one another?”

Are you aware of the absolute chaos that would be generated at The George Washington University if everyone began to help one another?

What an extraordinarily relevant question for someone in a leadership role to ask—not only about The George Washington University but also about any other organization. To his everlasting credit, though, the dean immediately followed up his pithy query with another that was equally, if not more, poignant in nature.

“Professor Harvey, did I just say what I think I said?” he asked.

“I'm pretty sure you did,” I replied.

—from How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed in the Back, My Fingerprints Are on the Knife? by Jerry B. Harvey