Leadership glitches


The original glitchy leader, Max Headroom.

In talking about what makes good leaders over these past few weeks here on the peakfuture blog, it still shocks me that our so-called leaders are making so many questionable decisions, and are making decisions that have such bad optics.  It makes you wonder how they got in power in the first place.

A few data points:

Hillary Clinton and the Goldman Sachs speeches – Yes, she may have been trying to raise some cash, but didn’t anybody in her organization think this would look bad?  This issue has been raised a few places, most notably, in the New York Times.  One of the best lines from that article:

After seeing her stumble this week, Mr. Crutchfield said that Mrs. Clinton should be ready to face the question about her fees over and over again, and that her answer of “that’s what they offered” rang hollow. Her staff would probably have negotiated such payments, he said, and Mrs. Clinton could always have given some of the money to charity if she thought she was being paid too much.

“It’s bad framing,” Mr. Crutchfield said. “I don’t know who’s training her, but they should be fired.”

Really – who is advising her?   Not only does it speak badly of the advisors, but of her own judgement.

The recent comments from someone up the food chain (the German president), “The elites are not the problem, the people are the problem.”   You should have been wearing a watch with a sweep second hand to see how fast people started to get together to protest in the streets after hearing that tone deaf comment.  Cue the music, and the attendant violence.

Peggy Noonan’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen”, available here, commenting on the elites, and how they are becoming so different from the rest of us; echoed in others (The Pitchforks are Coming…).

Some obvious advice to anyone in office, or in a position of power:

  1. Pay attention.
  2. Realize everyone isn’t as well off as you.  Feeding the homeless at Thanksgiving won’t cut it, in trying to bond with folks less well off, by the way.
  3. Be humble.
  4. Read history.  Realize that yes, it can happen here.

Of course, all this has a proverbial ‘snowball’s chance  in hell’ of getting people to change, but someone, somewhere must be elbowing someone in power, saying “Hey, uh, this course of action may be good in the short run, but in the long run, it’s going to be hell.”


  • What other advice would you give to folks up the food chain?
  • What other bonehead moves have you seen recently?
  • What makes these folks so blind?   Are they so immune to history, or is this just a typical reaction of “we know better”?



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