The death of the leadership ego
For the first time in my career I have decided to take some time off to reboot. Some may call it a “mid-life crisis” but I choose to think of it as a “mid-life renaissance”. After 4 weeks travelling around my Mother’s homeland of Spain to reconnect with my roots I am now finding myself with not much to do.
So in desperation to fill the void I decided to re-watch the political satire comedy film by Armando Iannucci titled The Death of Stalin Trailer. The film is based on the French graphic novel La mort de Staline and it depicts the power struggle following the death of Stalin in 1953. I highly recommend the film to you if you haven’t seen it.
The players are familiar to all of us who have worked in organisations. The leader who thinks he is all powerful and indispensible, the followers who play the political games to get close to power and the factional groups that plot against potential threats to their ambitions.
Anyone reading this not see these characteristics in themselves at one time or another? I’m guilty as charged.
Human behaviour is remarkably predictable. What we see at the highest levels of government (the current Australian Government is a good case in point) we also see in our daily lives at work and in community. Politics with a big “P” or a little “P”… it’s all politics.
So what? This has been the case since mankind realized that we had to form into groups to survive. Someone needed to be in charge and with that responsibility came the trappings of power. We see this right across the animal kingdom from apes to ants. Collective action allows us to not only survive but to also thrive.
But if we are not careful as leaders we can believe our own hype. We are ready to believe we are wearing clothes fit for an emperor but often we are naked (you understand that this is a metaphor, right?).
So it’s time for me to check out of the system for a short time and go in for a “leadership service”. Re-connect with my purpose, re-confirm my values and re-commit to being a service to people. A reality check where my friends and family tell me exactly what they think. A time to connect with the authentic truth of who I need to be to serve as a leader.