Why Leadership is Becoming Extinct

by on February 9th, 2011
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Colin Powell once stated that leadership involves responsibility. (1) This could very well be the basis for the recent demise in the area of leadership as our society’s moral compass, our daily values and our very own faith in what is right and what is wrong has been destroyed by political correctness and other personality traits or weaknesses. Leadership is not a position of authority or assignment. Leadership is not something that can be empowered or delegated to an individual. Leadership is about individuality that stands above the rest and illustrates qualities of character a person is competent and skillful to lead others and has the intestinal fortitude to make decisions whether right or wrong, decisions designed to improve the wellness of many and not just a few.

Political Correctness was designed so you would not piss people off. What exactly does that mean to a person looking at the word in which Wikipedia dictionary defines “political correctness as “Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent.” (2)

When you engage in PC you compromise your effectiveness and your honor. You become a person of marginalized proportion and you avoid answering tough questions with honest answers. Your behavior is altered to the point where you avoid confrontations as you try to blend in your surroundings to “one of them” and social acceptable to the crowd. Your leadership skills will suffer as you learn to procrastinate more causing your performance, once stellar, to slack off and become apathetic to the environment. Political correctness shuts down creativity and creates conflict among those who are the brightest of minds that want to contribute but are stifled because of unreasonable restrictions imposed for political will or purposes.

Being PC closes the door to the open door policy. You will quickly notice how the number of people that used to come to you for advice no longer enters your office as before. The reasons vary but it could be because of your choice to be PC in all matters, they have lost their confidence in your decision making or your ability to help them with matters important to them. On the other side of this coin PC sends a silent message that could very well mean that asking for help or assistance in matters is ridiculous or unwarranted. Inside the corporate world, cultures are unforgiving and being PC is another way of dealing with dealing with people but not really managing the workforce effectively.

Leaders must recognize the need for analysis and development of plans that benefit the project or challenge at hand. There should be no such thing as an exclusive task or sole performer within an organization. The responsibility to perform should be shared and is enhanced by the leadership qualities of the group or workforce. Being PC reduces these leadership qualities to reduce creativity, involvement, risks and intimacy of the project. Indirectly this results in poor promulgation of workplace policies and direction. It also severely limits the productivity or performance of the group as it does not extent their terms of performing, thinking, resolving or learning new things creating an incestuous environment that gains nothing for future or personal growth. Therefore, man can’t evolve into a better person and stagnates in his or her job.

Many events have been written where a catastrophe hits the work place because of unforeseen problems or events. This is indicative of a failure to be visionary and lacking strategies for the future or current events. Being PC resists being a risk taker to implement change or paying attention to details. It’s a “go with the flow” attitude that can destroy good men and women’s spirit and morale. It discourages acceptance of matters rather than challenging the idea or problem. PC contributes to complacency and non-conformity to rules, practices or traditions. It can spread into an agency cancer if not dealt with immediately.

Complacency and non-conformity are evils within the workplace. It develops into apathy and attitudes of “it’s not my job” and “I can’t do it” motus operandi that defeat productivity and performance. Basically, it reduces the overall effectiveness by avoiding controversy and discovery of new ideas and facts regarding the organization’s needs. It is a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude that can result in a culture that is not proactive and often resorts to a blame technique to find other people guilty of misconduct or wrongdoings.

A PC person is not interested in seeking new leaders or innovative and creative individuals. They are resistant to restructuring to meet the latest management schemes or training and often plan to do nothing to change the course. Take notice of many of your PC bureaucrats today and watch how they come up to the blackboard and show off their skills in organizational charts, maps etc. and attach fancy names and titles to such illustrations or positions. In doing so they advertise their authority but rarely their own individual responsibilities to accept failures or disorder within their own agency. Instead of focusing on the realities of the job and its details they frivolously engage in the ability to give orders and enjoy the perks of being someone of stature and power. Certainly this is more about ego than leadership at this point.

Confessing that being PC is exhaustive to financing and budgets, there are many who engage in draining such funds to look good. Instead of choosing the best things for the agency or workgroup they seek to demonstrate their latest ideology that is based on popularity rather than practicality. This results in the deprivation of sound work tools and practical directives. It also leaves a chasm of miscommunication to properly instruct workers to execute new orders and destroys core values or consistencies in the operation. Needless to say, this strategy is the opposite of sound leadership that enhances communication and produces a spirit of “can do” attitudes that impacts morale and reduces cynicism and pessimism.

So far, we have determined that the PC person is an individual more concerned about him or herself than others. It’s the “me” inside of them that drives their thought process and results in error and misjudgments to say the least. One would quickly think that in order to offset this “me’ syndrome, one would recruit or hire people who are skilled, intelligent, good decision makers and possess a capacity to anticipate future issues or problems to survive inside a corporate world. The trouble with this person’s hiring techniques is based on the need to surround the PC person with those who will dedicate their loyalties, their energy and their personal skills to the PC person rather than the organization. They work with an imbalanced ego to serve the person and not the work force.

Lastly, a PC person is a power glutton or a person who maintains the power and financial control at his or her levels. They do not empower or delegate this shift of power or financial responsibility to those who conduct the actual work but are quick to blame any shortcomings to these subordinates when failures are indicated in the process.


(1) http://govleaders.org/powell2.htm (2) www.wikipedia.org

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