Leadership, Part 7: The Fifth of the 7 Cs: Comparison

(Note: according to WordPress, this is the 100th post at mrprocedure.com. I guess my reward for reaching 100 posts is to begin work on the next 100. It was pure coincidence that my 100th post would occur during a presentation on the 7 Cs, seeing that C is the Roman numeral for 100.)

I hinted in the last post that the progression past the fourth C (Cooperation) would represent a deterioration, and I’m sorry to say that is true. But remember the premise that the essential ingredient in becoming a leader is creating what I call a “followership,” creating a case (of sorts) that people should follow you.

The fifth stop in this progression is Comparison. In short, I really do not have to present an argument for my candidacy, I only need to present an argument against another’s candidacy.

American politics today fully embraces this concept. Candidates in the recent past in the U.S., for President as well as other offices, have frequently accused opponents of engaging in “the politics of personal destruction,” while (apparently) failing to realize that politics is nothing but personal destruction.

This is in essence the inverse of the Compelling Vision. If I as Candidate A can convince you that the vision of Candidate B will lead to disaster, I don’t have to present a vision since my vision can’t be any worse than Candidate B’s. And come election time, the masses will go to the polls with 99% of what they know about one candidate coming from the campaign of the other candidate.

The workplace is not immune from the lead-by-comparison disease. The most common manifestation occurs when the leader suggests that the alternative to accepting their leadership is to align themselves with another leader: “if you don’t like it here, you can just quit!”

One aspect that Comparison shares with Crisis and Compelling Vision is that the strategy can be leveraged by emotional appeals that Consensus Building and Cooperation won’t tolerate. And like Crisis and Compelling Vision, Comparison can be built on half-truths and out-and-out lies.

Just remember: the lesser of two evils is still evil.

Next: the 6th C, Compensation.

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About Tim James "Mr. Procedure"

A communicator; all-purpose capability in writing, designing and presenting training for all facets of organizational function. While my focus has been manufacturing, my training/development experience includes supervisory and lead person development, audit processes, continuous improvement and Lean, and Quality Management System implementation.
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