Leaders who Fall

Leaders who Fall

There are countless articles about Leadership…

  • What Makes a Great Leader
  • Passion vs Emotional Leadership
  • 7 Ways to not be THAT Leader
  • Etc., etc….

But no matter the accountability articles nor the self-building ideas – leaders fall. It has nothing to do with race, gender, nor location.

Leaders fall.

Since August, Oldman and I have been learning about various leaders throughout the world and centuries who became leaders with great passion, but once they “arrived” they fell. There was an easy-to-see theme on how these great leaders fell.

Their egos.

Napolean Bonaparte is the latest leader Oldman is learning about in History. Most American’s and Brits are taught that he was a sad, small man who had a complex. However, most of that info comes from British propaganda. Napoleon was of “average height” and quickly rose to great stature in the French military. His men loved him! He would lead them into battle head on with contagious passion. Unfortunately that wonderful leader quickly turned into a egotistical lunatic. When he was getting ready to force a coop on his own country he was asked by someone, “What is written in the Constitution?” His reply was, “Napoleon Bonaparte.” He ended his military career as a war criminal.

Ladies we’re not better than men on this. There is a very large number of us that would love to be looked up to as a voice of leadership. Of course there are also those of us that are happy and content to be the quiet pillars that hold everything together.  The female leader-types tend to feel like they have to be might strong beings to qualify as leaders. A lot of the might strong leaders are looked at as power-hungry sultana’s. Despite the tacky stereotyping, we still struggle with our egos.

So what is the answer to this age-old problem?

Accountability groups? Some may work, but I’ve also seen these “accountability groups” quickly turn into an entourage. Those groups just feed the devil growing in the deep.

There can’t be a step-by-step answer to this problem or it wouldn’t be an issue today. We are human beings with emotions that are living in a world that believes ‘the strongest will survive’. We look up to incredible leaders such a Mother Teresa and Gandhi, yet would we do what they did to change the world? Really?

I don’t intend for this post to be a debbie-downer…just thoughts running in my head that I wish I had answers for. Like Knock It Off for one. 😉

Easier said than done.

Ok…well, now you know why I don’t like going deep. HA!

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  • I feel that women have a harder struggle with this than men do, especially today. We have to balance our confidence, determination and drive with ladylike demeanor. What an impossible feat! Add to that the challenge of pride to cause a fall, and it’s a wonder women ever make it at all. On the other hand, I’ve found several books have helped me recognize and navigate these challenges with grace (if you know me, don’t laugh…grace isn’t exact my middle name). My favorite: Lean In (Sheryl Sandburg). My recent collection addition: Leading Women (Dr. Nancy O’reilley). Though men fight with this as well, it’s such a new road for women to both be leaders AND have successful, lucrative careers (We all can’t be like Mother Teresa). Learning from our mistakes make us human. Learning from others’ successes make us wise.

    For more great women in leadership books, I found this link to be helpful: http://www.cvdl.org/blog/15-must-read-books-women-leadership/

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