Most people in leadership positions in this country are pretty lucky. Why? Because it seems that no matter what they do, no matter how they treat those who report to them, and some of the people who don’t directly report to them, that because people need jobs they can get away with a lot of bad behavior that, in real life outside of the workplace, would be unacceptable.

Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Compfight

Over all my years, I’ve seen many people who get a taste of power and immediately lose perspective on who they are and the responsibility that this sudden boost of “power” gives them. Sometimes what makes a person a bad leader is not taking charge and pulling people together towards a common goal. Most of the time what makes a bad leader is forgetting that once upon a time you were where the people who report to you are now.
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I’ve been in business over 17 years. When I started out, I had no idea what I was doing or what to do. I came from health care, hospitals in particular, and always worked in markets where mine was the only hospital in the area. This means we didn’t worry about marketing all that much, only putting out press releases when we were offering new services.

business supplies
stux via Pixabay

What this means is that I made a lot of mistakes early on, even though I got my first contract within 3 months and my first speaking engagement a month after that. I went through some hard times until I finally figured things out, and then went through more hard times when the economy tanked for a couple of years.
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I read an article which said that what some political pundits had given as a reason why people who might have originally voted for President Obama switched to vote for the candidate in the other party in 2016 was wrong. The study showed that the reason for the switch was wholly tied to racism. The actual line was “It finds that these voters tended to score highly on measures of racial hostility and xenophobia — and were not especially likely to be suffering economically.”

Prawny / Pixabay

The funny (not so funny) thing about the results is that the only people not surprised by the finding were minorities. Most of us have been saying and believing it since the day after the election. Unfortunately, most political pundits aren’t minorities, so they dismissed it out of hand by saying “if they voted for Obama they couldn’t have been racists.”
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Some years ago we saw an example of bad behavior from a college basketball coach. The coach shoved one of his players when there was a time out and the players were coming off the court. He yelled at the player, saying “Do you want to play this game?”

by jLasWilson via Pixabay

It wasn’t a hard shove, but it was a shove, and you could immediately see two reactions. One, the coach seemed to be surprised that he did it. Two, the player started to lose control, and had to be held back by some of the other players initially, then calmed down by other players away from the bench while the game was still going on.
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I recently had the opportunity to watch an older documentary that was produced by Ozzie Davis on the life of Malcolm X. I’ve read the autobiography, read some other biographies, and of course saw the wonderfully brilliant movie starring Denzel Washington that should have won an Academy Award, as should Washington.

Malcolm X
Thomas Hawk via Compfight

I wasn’t old enough to have a true opinion of Malcolm at the time he was alive. I formulate my ideas as a teen when I read the book and, truthfully, they come out as a mixed bag. That’s because he himself was kind of a mixed bag. He was also a guy who, once he grew in spirit and demeanor, was a man of conviction and strong ethics; even if sometimes his conclusions were a bit stark.
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