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
THE PENALTY OF LEADERSHIP
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
–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.