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The Danger of a Larger-Than-Life Boss (or Leader)

July 13, 2012

Here is a great article on MSNBC about the Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno/Penn State scandal and the danger of a larger-than-life boss. I want to focus on two points made by writer Allison Linn.

First, she warns how reverence for a boss or coach can become a problem:

The first danger is that employees focus on pleasing and protecting their boss rather than doing good work or exposing wrongdoing. A second problem is that employees become afraid to question the boss or criticize any of his or her ideas.

Does this sound familiar? Recent posts by TEAM/LIFE members have been centered on praising their leader, Orrin Woodward instead of asking legitimate questions about their business “opportunity.” Dissension is not tolerated within TEAM/LIFE; do so, and you’ll run the risk of getting your business screwed over by the Policy Council.

Second, Linn writes about the ego-inflating bubble effect that leaders (and their followers) may be susceptible to:

Still, it’s an easy rut to get into and tough one to break free from. Great leaders are often revered both inside and outside their organizations, and that can easily feed the ego.

“It’s hard to essentially not believe your own press and not to believe that you’re invincible,” Amabile said.

TEAM/LIFE leaders love touting their own press, even their own manufactured press. As for their followers, they sure enjoy parroting whatever their leaders say! What I fail to see on the part of the TEAM/LIFE leadership is any sense of accountability for the clear failures over the past 15 years. How many people became financially successful when they were in Amway? How many people became financially successful during their short time in MonaVie? How many people are making a profit after expenses while a part of LIFE?

Seriously, this is a problem endemic to pretty much all MLM businesses. Bad traits don’t just disappear once someone goes Diamond; if anything, these traits may be amplified. MLM members should be wary any time they see their “leader” be deified on stage, on CD, or in a meeting.

Check out the original article and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2012 9:24 am

    @Amthrax said
    “Does this sound familiar?”

    YES! YES! and YES!

  2. July 13, 2012 9:45 am

    Wow…. very creepy. It’s very similar to the cult mindset.

  3. Speak Your Truth permalink
    July 23, 2012 12:15 pm

    Thanks for the Article Amthrax, could copy and paste every quote!

    The report specifically called out “a president who discouraged discussion and dissent” and “a culture of reverence for the football program (MLM LIEf program)that is ingrained at all levels of the campus community.

    “A culture of reverence”… for orrin and the pc…but orrin only wants ‘reverence’ for him. orrin has scolded leaders for edifying other pc even though the majority of edification went to him! (Arrogance & Narcissist)…Do NOT Question anything, Just Trust and Edify-worship orrin!….Clearly it is what the Team/LIEf “culture” creates.

    “Experts say it’s a tragic and horrific result of an all-too-familiar problem that is hardly limited to the locker room or sports arena.”

    That article paired with Amthrax (and many others) sites is some great ‘feedback’ for orrin. He could ask himself many questions that relate and use as a measuring stick for a brutal reality check and how well his ‘leadership’ really is.

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