Leader Or Bully? There are Consequences

Bully Advance Screening Hosted by First Lady K...

Bully Advance Screening Hosted by First Lady Katie O’Malley (Photo credit: MDGovpics)

I’ve seen it a thousand times in business—rejection of an idea or a person by virtue of corporate status. The powers that be have authority, so they must be right. Right? Sure, the world’s flat too. What they have is the fraud of authority, the power to be a bully by the virtue of their title. A title, however, makes no one a leader.

It is usually easier to lead with a title than without. Leading without a title is one of the most difficult and courageous things anyone can attempt. Often, leaders without titles arise in the midst of a crisis—a crisis like a bully’s ego trip.

Dealing with a bully is not especially complicated or difficult. It merely takes nerve. If you work for such a person, do not submit. Fight for your dignity. Bullies destroy dignity and they destroy companies. If you are a leader, you must not allow them to operate under you. As a leader you should try to reform the bully—attempt to make a human connection that explains why people deserve respect. If this does not work, then you must fire that person. Bullies set entirely the wrong tone for productivity, passion, and fun. They drain energy.

The funny thing about these tyrants is that when they lie or back stab or threaten, they think that no one else notices. The truth is, everyone notices because these things get around. And so the fraud of authority becomes transparent, a shameless ego trip. Employees obey, but they don’t believe. How can they share the dream of a person they privately loathe? They can’t.

Who are these monoliths—these institutional fascists wallowing in their muck of false glory? They come in all shapes and sizes. All colors and both sexes too. Inevitably what makes them a universal plague on the worker is their bald cruelty. Some do it like smiling assassins—lying to save face while turning the knife in your back. Others are more honest, but just as cruel—shouting you down like a verbal storm trooper. Either way, the mission is to destroy dreams. Dreams and dreamers.

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