Bad Leaders Get Ahead Too

by | Sep 13, 2022 | Leadership | 0 comments

I grew up in the UK and it’s as much home to me as The Netherlands has become after living here for 17 years.

And it breaks my heart to see the leadership of the UK and how they behave.

I mostly write about the ideals of good leadership and how each of us can create our own path to our own definition of good leadership.

But we can’t ignore the reality of the world. That there are so many examples of bad leadership out there.

Bad leaders who:

  • lie
  • manipulate
  • abdicate responsibility
  • blame others
  • sew hatred and discontent among the people they serve
  • make decisions to serve themselves (and their friends) at the cost of their employees/constituents

And they keep their jobs! They even get promotions.

Firstly, it sucks. Be outraged. Be shocked. Be speechless because you don’t know what to do or say in the face of this awfulness.
I spent a few weeks in the UK this summer, and while I loved being with family, I felt all this about the government and certain companies. I’m coming out of my outrage now, and writing this is helping this process.

We have to talk about it. We can’t keep our conversation about leadership focused solely on the ideal.

Because we’re living in a world where examples of bad leadership can be found everywhere.
And they get jobs. They keep the job. They get promoted even. (can you tell that this bothers me?)

So we’ve got to look at all that too. We’ve got to look at bad leadership and learn from it to find out: why does it happen?

And I’ve been looking, and it’s actually quite comforting.

The comfort I take from it is this: that the existence of bad leaders proves my beliefs about good leadership.

I believe to be a good leader, you need to:

Choose your vision
Choose your values (that guide what you’re willing to do, and how you’re willing to do it)
Collect allies who will help you make your vision come true
Keep going, no matter how impossible it may seem
Believe in your success

Now, if you put those criteria against all the supervillains in the world (real or fictional), you’ll find that they tick all those boxes.

So while this blog post may actually be the coaching tool that helps the next help super villain (oops, my bad), my intention is to remind you, dear reader, that the method is simple.

You have dreams of a positive impact on the world. You want to make the world a better place by doing something within your circle of influence.

You can do it.

Create your vision, and believe it’s possible. Choose your values. Collect your allies.

And keep going til you get there.

“What’s a leadership series? How’s it different from the thought series or coaching tips? Good questions.“ This series gives you tips to take your own leadership to the next level, and ways you can extend your own capabilities. Ready to take your skills to the next level, but aren’t sure where to start? Get in touch with me.

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