Welcome to The SHAPE of a Leader. I write this blog with the SHAPE leadership development program (for women pastors) I lead in mind, but it is for all who are interested in leadership, faith, and the intersection of the two.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Inner Poverty

Have you seen all the writing about "bad bosses," "idiot bosses," "psycho bosses" lately? (As an example, just google "idiot boss.")  Is this a new epidemic?  Or, are we just sick of inept leaders finally and we're not going to take it any more?  

I notice a common theme when people characterize these sub-marginal employers - they seem to be filled with a self-centered ego, lack humility, are susceptible to temper tantrums, and wield their power stick inappropriately.  I think we have a problem of inner poverty.

My definition of inner poverty is a lack of a belief in ones-self that causes one to use authority rather than influence, flashy style rather than inner substance, rely on charisma (the manipulative kind) rather than character and confidence, and seek the short-term materialistic trappings of success rather than the long-term satisfaction of inner fulfillment.

Because they lack confidence, idiot bosses misuse power and authority to get work done.  Without the understanding of guiding principles, values, or a foundational belief in God (or other), they lack a moral compass and choose a machiavellian style of leadership, where the ends justify the means. They are concerned with their rise to power rather than developing their people into better leaders than themselves.  Is inner poverty one of the causes of the financial crisis that took the US economic system down?  Perhaps.

I really feel sorry for these leaders.  I think it feels lonely to them, if they take the time to admit it. But they don't admit it because they can't see it, typically, until a rock-bottom moment happens. I wish that weren't true, but in my experience only a crisis of some sort will cause the blinders to fall away from their eyes.

Until then, write on!

No comments:

Post a Comment