Acting and Speaking with Power: Oliver North and the Iran-Contra Deal-the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Case Solution

Peter Belmi, Gerry Yemen
Darden School of Business ()

How leaders behave in difficult situations is an important part of directing their narrative. This public case is an opportunity for students to examine how a leader under control behaves. The material presents a brief history of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver “” Ollie “” North, a United States security adviser during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. North testified before Congress and the analysis of what he said provides an opportunity to see how he acted under pressure. This case will be combined with another case, which tells the story of former Stanford University President Donald Kennedy, who was accused of overcharging the government for the indirect costs of research contracts: “Act and speak with power: Donald Kennedy and Stanford Accounting Indirectly Accused? ” (UV8149). Used together, the cases provide an opportunity to compare two very different approaches to speaking and acting with power.

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