All leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.~John Maxwell
This week, the GOP (henceforth to be known as the “Grossly Obsolete Party” rather than the Grand old Party) announced they were removing Liz Cheney because she was not loyal to their ideals (as if they had any). This is weird because if you look at the voting record, few Congressmen are as solidly steadfast to Conservative ideals as Congresswoman Cheney, but this is not about loyalty to ideals, its about lockstep support for the new Republican Caesar – Donald Trump. So, they resort to the Terror and brought out Madame Guillotine (figuratively) to purge all those who don’t fall in line with their aim to undermine and overthrow the US Constitution.
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to relive it….” In September 1793, as the French Revolution was unraveling, the Committee of Public Safety (a usurpation of executive rule by a right-wing political party during the wars that ensued to put down the revolution) passed the Law of Suspects. This law allowed the arrest of anyone whose conduct suggested they were supporters of tyranny or federalism, and this law was easily twisted to affect just about everyone in the nation. Terror could be applied to everyone, easily. There were also laws against nobles who had been anything less than zealous in their support for the revolution. Weak leaders demand loyalty because without it they cannot govern.
According to John Maxwell, these are the common characteristics of weak leaders:
- Weak leaders rely of ‘Positional’ leadership position because they cannot motivate people any other way.
- Because weak leaders think that they know more than anybody else, they are afraid of voicing any other opinion than the “party line.” Humiliating others boosts these leaders’ ego.
- Weak leaders demand things always be done the same way as they always have and harken to a prior time when things worked better.
- Weak leaders motivate by force. The only advantage they have is their authority due to their position. They use their position to intimidate, threaten and issue ultimatums to those they lead.
- Weak leaders don’t believe that anybody else do things as well as they expect. When any important assignment needs to be completed, they decide to do it themselves or micromanage the whole project.
- Weak leaders do not listen. Leaders with a big ego lead their teams in such a way that the people they lead are afraid of suggesting anything to them. If somebody musters the guts to suggest something, their recommendations are denigrated and the person making the suggestion is considered disloyal.
- Weak leaders never make any definite decision to take action. Weak leaders do not make decisions because they are always confused about correctness of their decision no matter how much clarity they receive. Lack of courage causes them to hesitate to make tough decisions (or right decisions) when the situation demands it.
- Weak leaders criticize and complain. These leaders praise others when praising gives them benefit. But, on other occasions, they do not hesitate to criticize the same people for another type of gain. Such leaders are manipulative and opportunistic.
- Weak leaders refuse to take responsibility. By definition a leader is somebody who takes responsibility. A leader always leads by example. Some positional leaders indulge themselves in the activities of blaming others for their own failures, or challenges.
- Weak leaders keep changing their plans. Because they are constantly trying to take the credit for the achievement of others and blame others for any mistakes, they vacillate from plan to plan as the political winds favor one or the other situation. These leaders say they are going to do something in the morning but change their plans by afternoon. By the time day ends, they are working on something else. These leaders keep their teams in the dark due to their fragile and ever changing, poor planning skills
Sound like someone you know?
The Terror almost destroyed the French Revolution and its new republic. Fear led to the installation of Napoleon as Emperor and then the reinstallation of Louis XVIII. Eventually, France learned to be a stable republic but it nearly died because of weak leaders. Don’t let this happen here.