“Let me go, let me go, I must follow those people for I am their leader” (Attributed to Alexandre Ledru-Rollin who was a French politician in the nineteenth century.)
I don’t really care about the French guy, I just like the quote.
I try not to think very often but today after remembering this old quote I got to thinking about leaders and styles of leadership.
Don’t worry, I will be adding some gratuitous sex and violence interspersed in my leadership diatribe to try and hold your interest.
Charisma and Leadership:
I think I’ll start with Hitler.
As soon as you say Hitler people get offended. Sure, Hitler was one of the shittiest human beings to ever walk the earth, but damn he was a powerful and charismatic leader. When old Adolf was in charge he ruled with an iron fist. That guy was one scary dude when he started barking out all that loud German shit. I don’t think he got any back talk or lip from his posse’. I’m pretty sure they did just follow orders.
When Hitler gave a speech he just pounded and spit out those words like they were a race of people he was trying annihilate. After his speeches ended I’m pretty sure that the first two rows of spectators were covered in Nazi Hitler gob.
Hitler was a first class dick, but using his charisma and powerful personality he managed to instill a false belief into the German people that they were the chosen race. Not bad for an ex-con wackjob riddled with syphilis.
You can get people pretty riled up if you do it properly. Like if your wife is pissed at something, you just get on the bandwagon. There’s no other choice.
Oh shit, I think I just compared my wife to Hitler. There’s definitely gonna be trouble and I have only myself to blame.
Other Leaders That Aren’t Hitler:
How do these cult leaders like David Koresh and Jim Jones get people to not only follow them but to die for them? I think the main reason is that these guys are charismatic speakers and leaders, they also have the ability to size people up, pick out the vulnerable ones and offer them some hope. They appear to be really likable guys at the start, sometimes even admired by the community.
This doesn’t sound so bad until you throw in the fact that they are also psychopaths.
Psychopaths are incapable of feeling guilt, remorse or empathy for others. They know the difference between right and wrong, they just don’t give a shit. Charisma is a good thing, if you don’t blend it with psychopathy.
Finally, Some Good Guys:
John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton would be considered charismatic leaders. Throw in some good looks and a family with a boatload of money and maybe you could be president too.
Some leaders become powerful by motivating and inspiring their followers with a cause, like Martin Luther King Jr. did with the civil rights movement. Gandhi was a different firecracker altogether, he inspired his followers more by joining them, and leading by example.
There are lots of different management and leadership styles but I think I like the charismatic style best. Without the psycho part of course.
Vote for Kennedy and boo Hitler, that’s all I’m saying.