Why Self Interest And Leadership Is a Bad Mix

True leadership is about serving others, not about being served. But too often we see leaders involved in self interest much to the detriment to the people they are hired or selected to serve.

There are two great example of this going on right now both in the US and in the UK.

In the UK as the Government and Parliament look to negotiate Brexit, you can see how self-interest is getting in the way of making progress on agreeing and implementing a deal. Jeremy Corbyn is looking to bring down the government so that he can become Prime Minister and be the one to lead Brexit, which he supports. Why not work with the Government to try and create a deal that majority in both his party and the conservatives can support and implement.

But no, that’s against his self-interest and as a result, the people of the country suffer uncertainty. Businesses losing out as the indecision makes people look elsewhere for safety and security.

Boris Johnson who seems more fired by his desire to be Prime Minister than to actually work towards creating a workable Brexit. He knows his “No Deal” scenario is unpalatable and does not have a majority, but he is using it to push for a change in leadership so that he can become PM.

In the US Trumps Government shutdown is all about him keeping an election promise. There is no majority in government to support his wall. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny against the things he is trying to stop. Drugs come into the country through Ports of Entry in vehicles, or through tunnels under the existing walls. So a new Wall is not going to fix that.

But this is not about building a Wall, this is about Trump being able to say he delivered on an election promise in order to bolster his bid for 2020.

Yet to him that’s worth shutting down the Government, having 800,000 people go without pay, and in some cases their work not getting done. Work that is essential to the security and safety of the population.

In Star Trek the Wrath of Kahn, Spock says “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” and Captain Kirk answers, “Or the one.”

I completely agree with this and to me it is one of they key tenets of Leadership.

Leadership is about serving the many not the few, and when leadership becomes about serving the one, or few, then it’s the many that usually suffer.