Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Lobsters Of Leadership

I have come across some good leaders in my time .. but I have come across many more bad leaders.

Good leaders are exceptional - they are the exception.

Intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, honesty, integrity, passion, creativity, inspiration ..... the list of qualities we think of as making a great leader is long and its all positive ... but what is the reality?

"It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it... anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."  
~ Douglas Adams

There is a disturbing link between psychopathy and leadership and the higher the position of leadership the more prevalent the incidence of psychopathy. Psychopaths, or sociopaths as they are more commonly called today, lack empathy, emotion and conscience - they are in a sense like calculating machines and see people and the world around them in a mechanistic type of way as if everyone else and everything else were like them a machine or system that can be manipulated. Psychopaths can act human when they need to, without conscience they can turn on the charm to manipulate, lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. The corporate environment with its systems of command and control are perfect hunting grounds for the psychopath to thrive in and they do ... the manipulative, cool calculating, ruthless self confident and fearless bravado of the psychopath snake in a suite is a positive trait in the viper nests of corporate boardrooms.

Our organisations are highly hierarchical and the dominance hierarchy is something we share with many other species including lobsters with whom we share a common ancestor. Rather than become a psycho-killer the more capable lobster can hunt and hide in plain sight like a wolf in sheep's clothing as a leader, a CEO or president.

"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely"

Rather than the X-factor vision to see the bigger picture and act for the common good we find most of our leaders acting only for themselves. While many leaders start out human with good intentions so many turn into lobsters when they enter the lobster tank .... its the way things are done at the top ... to be a leader you have to be this way ... they start acting the part and then become the part. 

Lobsters rise to the top but fish rot from the head down. Our leaders may be lobsters but we should resist following them - be human - celebrate empathy, emotion, passion, honesty, integrity, humility and love - don't drive ....motivate.


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