The Penalty of Leadership by JoAnn Ryan / Comments by ABC

Dear Readers,

I came across an editorial about “leadership” in the on-line edition of my local newspaper which I thought I would share with all of you.  I liked the information about the attributes of a good leader, but it was what I read between the lines, that caught my attention.  The author quoted Theodore MacManus who describes some of the negative aspects of being perceived by others as “stamped with the seal of genius”, also referred to as “leaders” in this article.  I found it interesting that the author writes about negative behaviors towards those who excel, as normal or as something that should be expected.  As quoted in the article, she perceives these behaviors as the “penalty of leadership” which she states “is a privilege always on our mind”.  Read the article, “The Penalty of Leadership”, which begins below in black type, and brings you to the entire article when you click on the link.  Then read my comments to the author below the article, in red type.   ABC


By,  JoAnn Ryan,  President & CEO of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.

Congratulations to all of the June graduates! This month, I am reminded of the powerful message written by Theodore MacManus my Mom gave to me when I graduated from college. It is worth repeating:

“In every field of human endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership be vested in a man or in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and punishment are always the same.

The reward is widespread recognition; the punishment, fierce denial and detraction…If his work be mediocre, he will be left severely alone – if he achieves a masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging…Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass or to slander you unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius.

Long, long after a great work has been done, those who are disappointed or envious, continue to cry out that it cannot be done…The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership…–CLICK ON LINK BELOW FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE

Comments by ABC

ABC – AntiBullyingCrusador wrote on Jun 28, 2009 12:41 PM:

–Quote from article;

Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass or to slander you unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius-

The quote from the article above is very true, but it’s important to know that those “stamped with the seal of genius” attract negative attention from only a small percentage of people, those with emotional or personality disorders such as Narcissisim.

Emotionally healthy people applaud the successes of others and feel honored to work with and learn from those whose talents and abilities surpass their own.

Then there are the “Narcissists” and people with other emotional and mental disorders who react as if threatened by those who excel.

When in positions of authority in our workplaces, these people may take on the role of a “workplace serial bully boss”. “Workplace bullies” feel threatened by good performers, because it increases their own feelings of inadequacy and shame. Bullies can’t stand to see someone other then themselves shine.

It’s important for “leaders” and those who are highly talented and productive in our workplaces, to understand that negative attention related to their successes, is not a normal response and should not be thought of as something to expect, as a “penalty of leadership”.

Instead, it should be recognized as a red flag that there is something very wrong with the culture of the workplace, known as “the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing”.

All working Americans should learn to recognize it, name it and end workplace bullying and mobbing together!  ABC


GoodLeadership wrote on Jun 28, 2009 8:33 PM: Excellent!! I urge you to distribute your document to all corporate and military leaders. This needs the widest dissemination.


Please attach ABC’s truthful analysis, which, in my view, is worthy of award.

M “

Hatefulness Without Prejudice, Workplace Bullying. by ABC

President of The United States of America

Barrak Obama

Hatefulness Without Prejudice, Workplace Bullying. by ABC

I am in my early 50s and have never been affected by prejudice as a child or as an adult where I live in the state of Connecticut.  I have not been spared from hatefulness however and have learned about one of the most painful types of hatefulness there is.  It is hatefulness without prejudice, an equal opportunity hatefulness, perpetrated for no reason at all, this is referred to as “bullying”.

Children deal with school yard bullies who steal their lunch money and push them in the mud while adults are faced with a more serious version on their jobs, “workplace bullying”.  There are many variations of workplace bullying. The most common type occurs when a manager or supervisor repeatedly abuses their position of power, targeting one subordinate at a time. This is referred to as a “serial workplace bully boss”.  When coworkers become involved, it is called “mobbing”.  “The phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing” is little known in The United States, although common and sometimes deadly, being a leading cause of “going postal”, a term that most Americans are familiar with. More frequently, targets are not violent but suffer from stress related physical illnesses such as high blood pressure or emotional injuries, like depression, anxiety, hyper-vigilance,and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to name a few.

Targets of workplace bullying and mobbing are rarely believed by others, facing denial at every turn, because hatefulness for no reason, just doesn’t make sense. This type of hatefulness leaves no physical scars, only the emotional distress of a target who becomes obsessed searching for the reasons that first their boss, then their coworkers, turned against them.  Coworkers and bystanders become more skeptical by the target’s emotional distress, while the reasons that targets obsessively search for, simply don’t exist.  Bullies are motivated by physical or emotional mental disorders which compels them to behave in this way. Real bullies, those with a level of “psychopathy” (also referred to as “sociopathy”) are thought to enjoy or feel some kind of satisfaction while causing others emotional distress, and actually plan emotional assaults against their targets.  Many bullies are incapable of feeling empathy or suffer from feelings of inadequacy and shame brought on by harsh early childhood experiences. The best performers on the job may be targeted for this reason.  Bullies cannot be reasoned with because there are no valid reasons for the abuse that they cause, other than the bully’s whim or need to subjugate, control or even eliminate the target from the workplace.  Once chosen as a target, 70% will loss their jobs within two years.

I was brought up to be proud to be an American and was taught that our country of the free, is a place where any child can dream of, and actually become president some day.  Being a girl, I knew this was not true.  Prejudice, although never mentioned, made this dream a lie to all but white, Christian, males.  The results of this past year’s presidential campaign has made this dream real for both children of color and both sexes.

Both Barrack Obama winning the presidential election and the distinction of being the first black president and Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful but worthy attempt to win the distinction of being the first female president, are positive signs that prejudice, a terrible type of hatefulness, is losing it’s grip against the increasingly popular consensus that all people are created equal.

Can we beat hatefulness without prejudice or reason?  It’s my belief that we can and my mission to reach and teach as many working Americans as possible about this horrible menace in our workplaces.  It’s my hope that one day all working Americans will know the meaning of the terms “workplace bullying and mobbing”. When that day comes, all working Americans will be able to recognize it, name it and end workplace bullying and mobbing together!  Learn more about workplace bullying and mobbing today.  Who knows, you might be the serial bully’s next target.  ABC – AntiBullyingCrusador

Lies and Shame, more about bullying tactics.

LIES AND SHAME, More About Bullying Tactics


Some bullies become bullies because of childhood issues of inadequacy and shame. With this type of bully, allegations about poor work performance are rarely the primary tactic used against their target, because it is precisely the typical target’s GOOD performance that draws a bully’s attention in the first place. Bullies often feel threatened by the good performance of their targets. Their feelings of inadequacy intensify when they compare their own performance with that of a good performer and they are also fearful that others will be more likely to see their inadequacies as well.

Bullies deal with this fear of being exposed as inadequate in a number of ways. If they are the target’s immediate supervisor, they may deny their target opportunities in which others will see first hand, their positive attributes. For example, targets will not be chosen to participate in special assignments or committees in which others will see their better than average abilities. They will isolate their targets in any way they can. My bully boss once told me to never initiate conversation with upper managers, naming one upper manager specifically, because as she explained, “they are old fashioned” and prefer “the chain of command” style of corporate communication. Since the centralization of my department to the branch where this specific manager works, I found quite the opposite to be true. This manager has approached my coworkers and I, a number of times, always very friendly and engaging.

Instead of alleging false work performance issues, these bullies make false allegations about the target’s character and ability to get along with others. They will tell a target that no one likes them for example. In my case, my bully boss said that I “intimidate subordinates”. They actually lie about what coworkers say about them, relying on the target’s shame, not to check the validity of the allegations made. Targets who have no understanding of the “bullying and mobbing phenomenon” may actually believe the lies of the bully, not understanding that their manager, or anyone for that matter, is capable of intentionally lying in this way.

Against the common sense of all emotionally healthy people, bullies often instigate interpersonal problems between their subordinates. This serves the bully well by taking the attention away from the bully’s dysfunction onto the dysfunction of their subordinates. An example in my own case was when my bully boss accused me of flowing out work that was incomplete, then told me to ask the coworker who was really at fault, for the details. You can imagine the fireworks that caused!

Just as targets don’t understand the way bullies think, bullies don’t always understand how emotionally healthy people think. That’s what my bully boss didn’t count on. A coworker, having emotionally healthy self esteem, didn’t believe the lies of our bully boss. She had no shame as our bully assumed that she would. She therefore didn’t hesitate to repeat what our bully boss said, thereby validating that what the bully said, were all lies.

It is important for Human Resource professionals to know that when a manager makes allegations about a subordinate’s character, or ability to get along with others, devoid of work performance issues, workplace bullying should be suspected.

Sometimes it’s important to notice what isn’t said. Let’s all learn more about work place bullying and mobbing and be alert and able to Recognize it, Name it and End workplace bullying and mobbing together! ABC

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