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Psychology | What makes a leader?



What makes a great leader? Education? The current British Prime Minister went to Eton and Oxford.  They are certainly attention seekers. Some are narcissistic with psychopathic tendencies.   Do natural leaders emerge in a group situation? What do famous leaders have in common? Churchill, Truman, Hitler, Gadhafi, Idi Amin, Thatcher; do they have anything in common with today’s leaders? Does democracy result in better leaders being chosen?

Hitler is seen as a brutal leader who was responsible for the holocaust. Churchill had a choice between bombing synthetic oil factories in Germany during WWII or bombing innocent people in Berlin. He chose to kill innocent people and he was also party with Truman to kill innocent people again when the decision to bomb Japan with atomic bombs was made. Incidentally, Japan was warned about an attack but ignored it; they weren’t told it would be nuclear. The Japanese leaders at the time committed their own atrocities against innocent people too.

Natural leaders, if there is such a thing, do appear to stand out from the crowd; they are extrovert rather than introvert, but does that make them psychotic? It appears leaders are chosen because of their past performance too. They also tend to lead a group rather than be followers and have a lot of confidence. They have a record of success or perceived success and little failure. They also think about the future more and little about the past. These seem to be good qualities, but a lack of empathy for others isn’t a good quality in a leader. Most of the leaders I have mentioned seem to have lacked empathy for innocent people and so maybe they did have psychopathic tendencies.

Are today’s leaders any better? David Cameron? Nick Clegg? Angela Merkel? Barak Obama? They all appear to be well educated, Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard are all represented. I see some signs of empathy from Nick Clegg but is he strong leader? Is he as strong a leader as David Cameron who appears to lack empathy for innocent people? Barak Obama too appears to have empathy for innocent people initiating programs to help people who are less fortunate in America and trying to bring an end to conflict. Angela Merkel appears to be in the news a lot and she is trying to end conflict in the Europe Union Union and solve the Eurozone problems. There does appear to be a lack of compassion towards ordinary, innocent people though. Is the difference in behaviour between leaders, a natural difference? Some favour a empathic and caring approach and others think people should stand on their own two feet.

They say good leaders lead by example. We have an austerity program in Britain. Are any of the leaders cutting back and imposing a austerity program on themselves? They don’t appear to be. They appear to be swanning around the world on holiday and going to overseas meetings. They are enjoying living in mansions and being chauffeur driven in limousines. Psychopaths are very good at pretending to be empathic; they make the right noises but inside feel little; no empathy for people  and no guilt. This lack of guilt helps them look forward and never back, they are always planning; some people would call it plotting and conspiring. They like power, they like to be in control; but are they all nuts?

Smile with tongue out

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3 responses

  1. You have received an award! 🙂 The ABC Award. Please visit, there are some things you need to know. 🙂

    8, February 2012 at 6:24 pm

  2. Congratulations on your award, Mike! Well done.

    I vote Mike for Prime Minister. Except I can’t. But you make a lot of sense, Mike!

    9, February 2012 at 2:59 am

  3. HI Carolyn,

    I have to think who to give that award to. Want another one? 🙂

    I have a thrifty blog to finish this morning and then I intend to write about taxation. I might post the the latter blog on my new site. It’s hard trying to write blogs for two sites but the ones for the new site are different; I am trying to make them ‘timeless’ so people will read them long into the future.

    9, February 2012 at 9:00 am

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