The long-awaited Iowa Caucus is tonight and the Iowa Poll was supposed to have been released on Friday to add some clarity to who may win. But this poll, seen by many as the one-to-watch, was canceled due to a data integrity question that was brought to their attention.

One caller enlarged their screen to read the script, and, in doing so, cut off the name of one candidate. The order of the candidate names rotates and no one knows how many times it happened or what (if any) impact it had.

With so much at stake, it would have been easy to discount just that caller’s results or to claim it did not matter, but the Des Moines Register and CNN agreed with the polling service to cancel the poll since the results had been compromised.

I can’t overstate the anticipation candidates have for this particular poll’s results. It is timed right before the caucus and often gives candidates a last-minute boost to their campaign. CNN planned an hour-long special to analyze the results. The Register gains national prominence as it releases the results and many caucus-goers look to the paper to help determine their final candidate choice.

If you think the actions of one person do not matter, use this poll as an example. An innocent mistake had big financial implications and could have an impact on the results of the caucus itself. Yet, how refreshing to see that integrity won out in the decision to cancel it. Kudos to those involved for making the hard choice to do the right thing. Let their actions guide you when you’re in your next tough spot.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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