Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Leadership by Adjective

The Oxford English Dictionary defines leadership as "The action of leading a group of people or an organization; the state or position of being a leader." There are many different types and theories of leadership, among them Laissez-Faire, Autocratic, Leadership by ExampleParticipative, Transactional, Situational, and Transformational ... you can look up the details of all of them (and many others) on the Internet*. Nowadays, there's a new style of leadership, one that I call Leadership by Adjective, and its primary practitioner is Donald Trump.

When you lead by adjective, as Mr Trump does, you don't set the example and provide guidelines for your people to follow, you simply tell them how wonderful things are going to be. A leader by adjective is a winner, and the results of his leadership will be magnificent, huge, amazing, big-league**, tremendous, and terrific. On the other hand, his political opponents are losers and morons - they're stupid, weak, lightweight, low-energy, and out of control. Evidence is immaterial - what's important is that the adjectives are repeated frequently, loudly, and with total conviction.

Leadership by Adjective is wildly successful because it does not require the followers to think - only to believe. The boss absolutely knows what he's doing, because he says so, and things are going to be great!.

Personally, I think Leadership by Adjective is a despicable con job on a credulous electorate. I believe in six essential rules of leadership I tried to follow over a 23-year career as an Air Force officer:

Treat people as you would want to be treated (it's hard to beat The Golden Rule);

Praise in public, criticize in private (and never criticize on social media);

Listen carefully, and make decisions based on the best advice and information available (facts matter);

Don't ask anything of your people that you wouldn't do yourself;

Be fair; and,

Be loyal to your people*** if you want them to be loyal to you (you need to give it to get it).

How well did I perform as a leader? I like to think I did pretty well but, of course, I'm biased. In any case, though, I think I did a lot better - albeit on a smaller stage - than the current occupant of the White House, whose practice of Leadership by Adjective is widely approved ... and that's pretty depressing.

Have a good day. Forget the adjectives and adverbs ... stick to the verbs. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Here, for instance.

** Or "bigly," as it's usually pronounced.

*** And it helps when you're the president to remember that "your people" means all of the American people ... not just your screaming base.

UPDATE - Here are the latest standings in the Ass Clown of the Year balloting:

1st Place: The GOP Congressional Majority
2nd Place: Hillary Clinton
3rd Place: Donald Trump
4th Place: The Democratic Party
5th Place: Sarah Huckabee Sanders

You still have time to vote - balloting ends at 11:59 PM on December 31st. Let your voice be heard!



eViL pOp TaRt said...

DJT gives absolutely no loyalty to his subordinates. Look at Jeff Sessions. There's not a lot of real leadership going around; only slogans and people acting like jerks.

John Hill said...

Add 10 votes to the GOP congressional majority!

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Leadership has been lacking on the governmental level for a long time. I hope things improve.

Ten votes for Hillary and six for Matt Lauer.

Grand Crapaud said...

Ten votes each for the Republican and Democratic Parties!

Mike said...

trump is the l word. Not leader, liar.

10 votes for trump.