Negative Leadership Not So Bad

General Norman Schwarzkopf was once quoted by saying:

          “You learn far more from negative leadership than from positive leadership.           Because you learn how not to do it, and, therefore, you learn how to do it.”

In this post, I would like to take a serious look into the negative attributes of leadership, that for the most part, turn out to be very usefull in helping shape and mold us into the leaders we become.  Becoming good, well-grounded, leaders that is. 

Many negative attributes observed while sitting under the authority of a negative leader would involve (but not be limited to):

  1. Poor Attitiude.  As the leader’s attitude goes, so goes that of the teams. If the captain of the ship has a bad attitude, and seems to be unstable and somewhat double-minded at times, nothing will get completed.  Backbiting, and the shifting of integrity will increase.
  2. Lack of a moral center.  The set person, or leader will not be able to function correctly if the absence of a good solid foundation and moral character is not in place, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. 
  3. No Trust.  Trust is key in any relationship, whether business or personal.  Without it, there’s nothing but paranoia and chaos from within that can destroy everything.
  4. Controlling.  Good leadership allows people on the team to experience the thrill of leading when the opportunity arises.  Negative leaders know that in most cases, the outcome is failure, and they avoid this because of pride, and not wanting to look like a failed leader. They fear being replaced, which we all know, is the ultimate goal of the leader, to reproduce.
  5. Detachment.  The first four elements usually snowball into this last one.  The “glass house” effect takes over.  You can see the leader, but they’re not available for questions, time, and definitely not in a place of being held accountable. 

This is not by any means an exhaustive list, just some I’ve compiled to demonstrate the negative effects of leadership, and how you can turn them around when your call to leadership arises.  Just like the old saying goes: “What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.”  Its capitalism really, you learn from your mistakes, and from those around you, and from those leading you, and you gain the knowledge and experience to not reciprocate the same, but rather separate yourself out from the status quo, and lead like you were designed to…the right way.  After all, the negative lessons learned are to your positive advantage. 

One last thing to ponder…remember in the Bible what Joseph said to his brothers when they found out he was alive, and not only that, but second in command, a high level of leadership, next to the Pharoh in Egypt?  Let me refresh you:

     “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant if for good, in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”  Genesis 50:20



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