Arrogant autocrats create passive participants

Posted by on May 11, 2012

What inspires a CEO of a significantly branded corporate in South Africa to regard his executive team with such disdain that he can justify profanity in the extreme and humiliation of his executive team members in front of each other. I am talking of demoralization at its worst, and it is happening right now. I have witnessed it.


John Maxwell’s quote is a favorite of mine; “leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” Of course I add; “Influence for good or influence for bad?” Whether a business is successful or bankrupt the accountable person has to be the leader. The leader must take responsibility for the direct and/or indirect influence that they have on the working environment. Either it is conducive to creating “want to be at work” attitudes or “have to be at work” attitudes. The consequences of those are enormous and a no brainer.

The arrogance of a person, who believes they are the business; who fails to listen, encourage or appreciate the participation and contribution of executive colleagues can and will surely bring about the demise the business. Yes, I can hear you probably asking, “But is the business making money?” and the answer is “Yes, but at what price and for how much longer?”

Of course the risk of being Mr. Arrogant is that you probably lose business. It is highly unlikely that they treat their ‘demanding’ clients any different to the way they treat their executive ‘slaves’, or their family for that matter. Isn’t it amazing that one individual single-handedly has the potential to bring an organization to its knees, and all for self-gratification and self-aggrandizement?

I have found many mature adults in leadership positions who are incredibly unhappy. When it comes to messing with people’s self-worth, I have little empathy for the perpetrator. What Mr. Arrogant overlooks is that the people he is dealing with normally are heads of families, mothers and fathers of children and care givers to the elderly, with the same everyday challenges and issues as they have.

Who do these so called leaders think they are fooling with adding unrealized profits to a bottom line so they can look good? Why do these autocrats take their peers for fools; because they can? The fear of addressing these issues far outweighs the benefits and so peers would rather resign and move out.

A sad state of affairs isn’t it, but one that can and needs to be addressed, across the board.

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