Dangerous Leaders

To hold leaders and leadership in too high regard will lead to disappointment.

What happens when egocentric leaders meet needy people? Potentially a train wreck of use and abuse on all levels. When a self serving person is in a leadership position they are in a dangerous place and the emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of the followers are at risk. The leader will do all within them to protect their position because their ego and self-esteem have been tied together with the position.

The danger that is faced is not just for the follower, the leader is building a folly for themselves that will (not could) fall down at any stage.

The follower with low self-esteem or is wanting constant approval will be encouraged by the egocentric leader to do more, give more, give up more, not for the purpose of the organisation but because it gives a sense of having people serve them, it is all about power and control. Then needy  follower will feel that they are being “useful” or “important” without being encourage to improve their own lives or situations.

This is all done in very subtle ways where even the leader may not be aware of what is going on.

So what can be done to protect the follower and inform the leader that they need help too?


  • Remember that the cause, purpose or vision is bigger than you (well at least it should be).
  • It is not about power and glory: You are in the position because there is a need in the community that requires attention or fixing.
  • Get help, to change an egocentric lifestyle or leadership style will require the assistance of others, may be even professional help.
  • Swallow your pride
  • If you need to resign, or step down while you get it sorted, do it
  • Become accountable to someone outside of your organisation


  • You need assistance too, again this may need to be professional assistance
  • Talk to friends and family not attached to the organisation, ask for their honest opinions and LISTEN to them
  • Take a big step and say “no”.
  • Learn where your boundaries are and where they should be
  • Take time out for yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it
  • Know this: YOU are important, YOU matter, and YOUR opinions count

Getting your priorities in order is individual and although people may suggest what they should be, only the individual should organise their own.

Good leadership will always respect the individual, embrace the different opinions of others, it will respect boundaries while challenging the status quo.

Paul S Allen

About Paul S Allen

Kiwi singer-songwriter based in Dunedin, New Zealand. Musician (Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Mandolin, Keyboard); Photographer; Poet; Thinker. I have food allergies so ask when you invite me for dinner. Lumen accipe et imperti. (receive the light and pass it on) Email me: paulusthebrit@hotmail.com

Posted on 17/07/2010, in Business Development, Church, Faith and Personal Development, Leadership, Think and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Very nice article, thanks! I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed. Please keep up posting.

  2. Anna Campbell

    Egocentric leaders/bully types often come from positions of insecurity themselves, understanding this can be an important knowing in dealing with them….

    • Thanks Anna, I agree understanding the leader including their insecurities can help the entire situation by offering a strength where there is weakness. A hindrance to this is that the person in the leadership position may see that as a threat. Lots of tact, patience, and defined personal boundaries are required.


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