Here’s an interesting observation: Muammar Qaddafi, Hosni Mubarek, and even Saddam Hussein, didn’t even make the list of the world’s most corrupt leaders. When it comes to corruption, abuses of power, and sheer, these guys aren’t in the same category as Cambodia’s Pol Pot, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il (or even worse, his father, Kim Il, Sung), let alone Hitler or Stalin. Why so many corrupt and horrible leaders?
A lot of this has to do with our evolutionary history. Being social animals, we are “programmed” to try to lead and to be led. All highly social animals – apes, wolves, and humans – are governed by dominance hierarchies. We all too easily “fall in line” and go along with those recognized as leaders. The obedience studies of Stanley Milgram illustrate this tendency to “blindly” carry out the orders of an authority, even when it means shocking and potentially harming an innocent victim.
Toxic leaders are those whose “destructive behaviors and dysfunctional personal characteristics generate serious and enduring poisonous effects…on those they lead.” Toxic leaders work toward their own selfish ends and usually leave followers “worse off than they found them.” we believes we follow bad leaders because of our inherent belief in leaders and our desire to be protected by them.
We also easily believe that leaders are somehow special. We put our leaders on a pedestal – we sometimes turn a blind eye to the leader’s misbehavior. The real Problem occurs when the leader begins to believe he or she (although the number of horrible women leaders is few) is indeed special and “above the law.”
We have a sort of apathy about leaders. We willingly tolerate their misbehavior, and often follow them unquestioningly. The toxic leader appears initially as a seeming hero or savior, but soon begins the the slide into corruption . This certainly is the profile of the recently toppled leaders.
The only defense against corrupt leaders is to stand up to them. But that is more easily said than done. We are seeing that played out on the various revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa,South Africa and Zimbabwe recently, Sadly, it takes thousands of people taking heroic action, to say “enough is enough,” and they risk their lives and their families’ lives in doing so.
This is exactly what is happening in the then mighty DPP
Many i have personally talked to, are in support of The Vice president Dr Saulosi Chilima to the sitting President Peter Mutharika.If you look closely you will discover that their problems began way back but people were afraid to voice out their concerns. it took the effort of the former First Lady to say as it is without fear .
We have a catch!,
Choose leaders with character, who will not give in to the temptation of power. But followers also need to be vigilant -to not be complacent, and question the leader’s actions and motives. That is the only way to avoid being controlled and suppressed by corrupt leaders.
in other countries Parties have powers over leaders,Malawi doesnt.
we Had a Muluzi ,Chihana,Muthalika…we still have them, i wonder till when?
May 2019 will tell
The views of the article are of the writer NOT Malawi morning.