Who should really get the blame for the lousy choices for President this election cycle?
The American people, says Stanford Business School professor Jeffrey Pfeffer.
"We've got exactly the candidates we deserve," he says. "People claim they want leaders who are modest, self-effacing, and decent people.
"But that's a lie, both in politics and in the business world. In both places, people really want narcissists and liars for leaders. And that's just what we've got."
Pfeffer, author of Leadership BS (HarperCollins), is calling BS not just on narcissistic, dishonest, and self-dealing business and political leaders, but also on the way all of us lie to ourselves.
"We say we want good people to be our leaders," he argues. "But in reality, we just want to be charmed by narcissists and egotists. And that's exactly what's happening in the election this year."
In Leadership BS, Pfeffer excoriates the leadership industry, which makes tons of money promoting the lie that good guys finish first. Instead, he argues, in the corporate world, bad guys lie in waiting, steal the good guys' lunch money, give them a wedgie, and leave them hanging from a hook in the executive washroom.
"There's a huge disconnect between the claims of the leadership industry," Pfeffer says, "which promotes the idea that good people should rise to the top, and the reality of life in the corporate world, where liars, manipulators, and con artists rise to the top.
"And the same thing is happening in our Presidential elections today."
Pfeffer says he was once booked to speak about leadership at a top business conference - in between a magician and Miss America.
"The leadership industry only offers entertainment and inspiration rather than substantive change of anything that matters," Pfeffer argues.
"Carly Fiorina nearly destroyed Hewlett Packard and walked away with a package of $50 million. Stan O'Neal at Merrill Lynch walked away with $140 million as Merrill Lynch went down the toilet. Is that leadership?
"If companies wanted a different kind of leader, it would be easy. They know precisely how to select for the qualities that they claim they want, but they don't do it.
"What drives me crazy is the level of hypocrisy in the business world. They say they want humility, but what they really want are narcissists."
This Presidential campaign is no different from what goes on in corporate America, Pfeffer says.
"Trump is a brand. He's not a builder. Anyone who's ever negotiated with him will tell you he's a lousy negotiator. All he really does is he puts his name on things. He's Martha Stewart without the taste.
"To be a real leader, you need persistence, determination and focus. And I don't see Trump having any of that. He doesn't fix s***. He walks away from it."
"I've got to give her credit," Pfeffer says. "Hillary Clinton reminds me of the movie The Terminator. I mean, you could blow her apart and her parts would keep moving."
"He tells the truth the most, but he lost," Pfeffer says. "If he'd have lied more, he might be the Democratic nominee."
In short, America, don't blame the "system" or the "parties" or the media for the poor choices we have for President.
If you really want to see who's to blame for the lousy candidates to choose from, don't look in the newspaper.
Look in the mirror.
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Source: Elder Care Huffington Post