A Bully is Not an Open Leader

September 3, 2018 Open Leadership No Comments

A bully is not open to ‘total human being’. He is not respectful. He is not free towards himself nor towards others.

[see also: ‘From Bullishness to Leadership’]

Enumerating the above and other ‘elements’ of bullying, is enumerating – in the negative – the ethics of Open Leadership.

Contrary to the latter, a ‘bully leadership style’ confounds leadership with the function of ‘being at the head’. So, this style of ‘leadership’ is just no leadership at all.

Moreover, a bully doesn’t deeply control himself.

By definition: that’s part of what makes him a bully.

It also makes him unreliable as a leader. His hidden agenda may open itself any day. It may show itself in any covert way. Others may react to this in any uncontrolled way.

A bully may think his style is working because he sees ‘results’.

His narrow view sees ‘direct results’ when he lashes out and less results when he doesn’t. Thus, in his experience, ‘being open’ leads to negative results.

BUT: there is no ‘motivation’, only coercion. Really Open Leadership is not part of his expertise.

Meanwhile, his subordinates are looking for ways out. They only do what they are coerced to. They don’t share inspiration. They don’t feel empowered. Eventually, commitment and productivity decrease.

The bully may interpret this as ‘those subordinates being lazy or uncooperative’. He sees the cause within them, not within himself. He may even see this as proof that he himself is smarter than the rest. Functionally, he may be right: his subordinates really ‘act’ less smart, a kind of subconscious – or even conscious – sabotage.

Thus, the bully-leader gets a sense of control that mainly concerns himself but has a reverse effect. His reflex will be to strive for even more control. It’s a vicious circle:

Bullying leads to more bullying.

He elicits compliance since people are fearful, meanwhile unknowingly missing a huge potential.

This may linger on for a long time, organizations being always subject to many factors. The competition may just be even (much) less efficient, if only through another bully at the top.

Finally: the fall

The bully seems to be able to keep people accountable. However, resentment may grow outside of his conscious awareness.

If you think you cannot change, then you hold yourself from changing. In many cases, this is part of the bully’s personality. When he sees that his attempt to change is difficult, this too may reinforce his idea of being on the right track. He’s stuck.

Unfortunately.

When there is a chance to throw him off his pedestal, the fall may be hard.

Meanwhile, the whole organization may become less ‘Open’.

Picture this into many organizations and the whole society becomes less ‘Open’.

This is extremely serious.

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