Leading to Death… (it's flawed)

Leading your followers to death may seem like a valiant ideal, but it just doesn't work...

ZIMBABWE....can teach us a thing or two...We think leadership is hard in the corporate jungle. And it is! BUT, imagine watching as your employees are dismembered because they share the same values you preach...

"Would you still believe in your values if your followers were slaughtered for YOUR ideals?"

I took note of the situation in Zimbabwe (by the way, my sister is working in South Africa, Zambia, and a few other countries this summer...) and was struck by the one aspect of the incredible leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition movement who beat "Bobby" Mugabe in the first round of elections in Zimbabwe.

If you haven't followed the story (i.e. haven't read the newspaper, don't own a TV, and never surf the Internet...), Zimbabwe does a runoff if no one leader wins an overwhelming majority. In the runoff process, the government (controlled by Mugabe) began MASSIVE brutalization of the opposition party (led by Tsvangirai)...

People were beaten... over a 100 people were KILLED... villages were burned... It was a MESS!
AND so Tsvangirai withdrew from the election process!
There is no single reason why he did this. Certainly politics had a lot to do with it -- it would get the attention of the international communbity (and it did). HOWEVER, I read a snipet of an interview with Morgan where he noted that: "he couldn't condemn his people to death for voting their conscious..." In other words, Morgan refused to "lead his people to death"...
WOW! Incredible leadership! I took away some tremendous lessons from this...
  • Martydom only works ONCE and isn't sustainable... You have to get it right the FIRST time and the odds of success aren't historically in your favor...
  • A leader without followers can't lead anymore... The concept of viral change goes right out the window and diminishes proportionally with the rate of follower deaths...
  • Dying for your values is easier than LIVING to fight for them everyday... Bucking the opposition is a grueling processes... (i.e. changing the world is worth living for...)