Sham leaders demand dutiful and unwavering loyalty. An allegiance reciprocated with rewards and accolades in the best of times. But one misstep will turn the leader’s tributes into insults. And soon the leader’s trust in their coerced allies evaporates into suspicion.
The flawed leader’s appetite exceeds a test of unfettered fealty and flattery. It strains an employee’s mettle and requires the forfeiture of values. It requires them to compromise their morality and succumb to the self-important leader’s demand for obedience.
It is unnecessary for a genuine leader to demand loyalty. Their competency and behavior prove they merit it. Earned loyalty does not need undeserved homage to arrogant power. Rather, merited loyalty fosters trust. It allows employees to stay true to their values and maintain their integrity.
Why do accomplished people bow to tyrants? What is the price of compromising one’s integrity to cling to the tainted entrails of momentary power? Is the moral cost long-lasting? Or does the transgression last only as long as the next news cycle?
The arrogant leader never realizes that demanded loyalty is always conditional. The compliant, those who rent their integrity to stand in the shadow of power, scurry to realign themselves when the next flamboyant leader steals the spotlight.
Genuine leaders earn loyalty. They foster an environment of respect and harmony. And with humility, they offer their own allegiance as an inspiring example to follow.
Actual leaders rely on facts and the wisdom of experts. They encourage ideas and trust the dedicated professionals advising them. These experts are essential and provide a level of commitment, belief, and duty that sycophants cannot supplant.