Aug 22, 2008

What leaders ought not to be.

Bad Boss
Having served the company for four years now, I had the chance to work with a colleague who has become an epitome of failed leadership. This experience has taught me a valuable lesson on what not to be when I take a shot as the 'main' man - the CEO.

This colleague has been like my shadow and knew him like the creases on the palm of my hand. I guess success has got in to him that much, and has become what he abhors the most - an elusive and misguided dictator.

I have outlined the qualities of this chronically doomed leader so it will be my heuristics on what leaders ought not to be.

Leaders ought not to be:

  • a 'flip-flopper'. This is a quality of a person who cannot seem to make up his own mind much less, stick to the company's objectives. He seems to go in endless circles and people are tired on following his path. I don't know if he can see clearly that his men are very much frustrated on keeping up with standards, policies, and objectives of the company when he himself does not even recognize its value and keeps on bypassing them. For him there is only one and only one rule - his rule of thumb.


  • self-centered and arrogant. He seems to enjoy a lot sitting on his laurels and continually strokes his ego by saying that the company and its people will be nowhere without him. While it may be true somewhat, but its just a small fraction of the effort. It's the people who support at the 'back door' that made the four corners of the business stable - not by an arrogant salesman with a tricky sales pitch up his sleeve.


  • an all talk, but walking the talk. This guys talks a lot, and I really mean a lot! This self-righteous individual preaches like the Pope, and poaches like pimp at sunset. He always makes it clear and very adamant with all executives like me not to 'screw' around with any employees and yet he was the first to break the rule. Talk about true leadership.


  • a coward. False leaders come in different forms and sizes. Many come in shining armors with the fiercest look and the sharpest swords. But when  the charging comes to confront the enemy he will sit at the back and let others cover for his sorry ass. At peacetime, his inspiring words are the only voice you'll here, but dead silent and non-existent on war time - probably hiding in the bunker you say?


  • disrespectful. An arrogant man never learns to respect others, even of the same cloth. This is very evident on many of our corporate meetings when he tramples on the decisions of the CEO and discredits his capability as a leader in front of his subjects! Who now is more apathetic ?


  • false sense of direction. His true 'north' is different from what is commonly accepted and wants everybody to follow his broken compass. I remember quite vividly saying that his 'barometer' for identifying  if the company is doing fine is if his one of his long time employee isn't making complains. If SHE complains, then that means there is deep trouble. This is like believing to a superstition - unbelievable!


  • emotionally unstable. A mark of a true leader never gets 'budged' by emotions when making decisions. Leaders decides very objectively and squarely even at the highest tides of emotional situations. Yes, many and costly mistakes are made because of emotional instability.

This ominous character is what brought him down in the beginning and the same shall be his fate on the very last if he continually disregard the signs.

As for me, I have had it up to here - my brow line, and don't know how long I can take this. Honestly, I don't share his vision anymore because it's clouded. I don't share his vision because it's misguided. I don't share his vision because it's self-centered. What is keeping me afloat all these years is the people at stake. Much will be lost if I jump ship. I say, to whom I serve is not the driver that stirs the wheel, but the man who paves the road.

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