The Fog of Celebrity

Lance Leadership Comments

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When people working in an organization become less of a person and more of mere “resources” and “FTE’s,” a set of blinders descends over the Leaders, making it easier to make decisions that are good for the numbers but hurt the people.

But what happens when it is the view of the Leader that gets distorted — viewed as being more than just a person?  Local/intraorganizarional celebrity status kicks into operation the same fog machine that distorts the sperceptions of pop culture celebrities. The effects can be costly:

  • Leaders become detached from the people they uhare here to serve
  • Leaders drift into acting like normal rules of behavior don’t apply to them
  • Leaders begin to overestimate their own ability
  • Leaders become invested in maintaining their image, which can lead to being less likely to admit failings and not knowing

Of course, the “do you know who that IS?” that makes leaders into celebrities doesn’t just affect the Leaders:

  • People become invested in being near to or associated with the celebrity Leader
  • People self-censor criticism and disagreement while offering up effusive praise
  • People become invested in maintaining the celebrity leader’s image (the proximity to which they judge their social standing), leading to insulating the celebrity leader from bad news

It pays for both Leaders and People to chase away the haze of Celebrity and remember the sage wisdom of Depeche Mode: People are People