Monday, February 04, 2013

The Arrogant. The Incompetent. And Their Supporters.

I thought it was jarring the first time I encountered incompetent leaders and managers who took pride in their dysfunctional behavior. Over time, I've been more shocked at those who cobble together excuses for them.

"They see things the rest of us don't see." "They are a work in progress." "Who are we to judge?" "No one works harder." "They may be a little rough but their intentions are good." Throughout this hubbub, straw man arguments are often employed to knock down arguments that few, if any, critics have made.

Early on, I noticed that these excuses were made for leaders who produced unquestionable results but stepped on a lot of toes along the way. That is easier to understand. Later, however, results seemed optional and supporters were more inclined to close ranks if the questionable performer was one of theirs; a member of their circle. What would have been roundly condemned if done by an outsider is touted as deep thought if perpetrated by a co-believer. Behind closed doors, the mumbles go, "He may be an idiot, but he's our idiot." That is not what is said when the doors are open.

Such are the by-products of a blind advocacy culture. As years pass, we may discover the true cost of such attitudes.


John said...

Michael, that same disease affects the world of politics, infecting all parties and positions. And since money is the oxygen of politics there are many potential arsonists.

Michael Wade said...


I don't really subscribe to the view that money is the oxygen of politics (Ask President Rockefeller)since that implies it always plays the key role. It doesn't appear to be the key contributor to this disease since the problem can be found in scenarios where money plays no role at all and where matters such as status, team loyalty, and other factors arise. I see it as more of an ethical issue.


John said...

I see your point. There are no simple explanations why people get away with repeated bad or destructive behavior. We need look no further than the family unit for examples of what you have termed a "blind advocacy culture." Good observation.

Unknown said...

Hi Michael,

I know a 'leader' that fits exactly in your description! Maybe you know him too... LOL!

Have a nice weekend ahead!