Let’s hear it for untrustworthy leaders!

The deepest essence of  leadership is Inner Leadership.  Logic tells me that no Inner Leadership means no followers.  But I’ve known some seriously untrustworthy leaders with generous followings.  So, how on earth do they do that?

Suddenly, thinking of Inner Leadership, I realised naive superb me had been seeing through her idealistic glasses again!  It was obvious why untrustworthy leaders can have generous followings.

Firstly, ‘presence’ is the stuff of leaders while charisma is the stuff of ‘gurus’ and ‘superstars’… who also have followers.

No surprises then that the untrustworthy leaders of whom I’m aware absolutely excel at doing charisma.  They’re very, very, very affable.  They’re so good at consciously creating high levels of rapport that they’re almost ‘snake oil salesmen’… convincing to the point of ludicrousness.

Secondly, I’ve followed untrustworthy leaders myself  in the past, one over many years.  And, guess what?  I did so for my learning!

I found out exactly how it felt to be on the receiving end of untrustworthy leadership.  When reality dawned, it wasn’t a pleasant experience or one I wanted to ever inflict on anyone else.

Plus those untrustworthy leaders mirrored back to me my own untrustworthiness, my own ability for ‘snake oil’ salesmanship.  I discovered my own superifical ‘guru/superstar’ and the part of me who could shaft other people  in the name of self-preservation and success.

Happily, being aware of your personality ‘parts’ can bring you freedom from them.  Only when you can identify with a part can you then learn to dis-identify from it; to have mastery/mistressy over it rather than it being in charge of and running you.

So I feel much gratitude for the untrustworthy leaders I followed.  I am thankful for their pivotal role in my growth as a human being as well as a leader; for their contribution to my own Inner Leadership.

And, as well as learning from trustworthy leaders, here’s a big ‘Yayyyy’ for their opposites, the untrustworthy ones and all they can teach us… however challenging that might be.


One Response to “Let’s hear it for untrustworthy leaders!”

  1. Sharon – Great thoughts. We can all be mesmerized by great leaders only to find little , nothing, or not at all what we expected behind the façade. The Tiger Woods scenario is a good example. He was a world leading sportsman. But from that experience we can take away lessons for ourselves! Good post.

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