How leaders behave in difficult situations are an important part of controlling their narrative. This public-sourced case provides students an opportunity to examine how one leader behaves while under scrutiny. The material presents a short history of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver "Ollie" North, a US national security adviser under US President Ronald Reagan. North testified before Congress, and an analysis of his testimonies provides an opportunity to view how he conducted himself under pressure.
This case is meant to be paired with another case presenting the story of the former president of Stanford University, Donald Kennedy, who was accused of overbilling the government for indirect costs on research contracts: "Acting and Speaking with Power: Donald Kennedy and Stanford Accounting—Indirectly Accused?" (UVA-OB-1338). Used together, the cases present an opportunity to compare two very different approaches to speaking and acting with power.