The Worst Leader in America

hubris [hyoo-bris], noun. excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.

Those of you that are kind enough to spend a few minutes of your day reading my blog know I’ve been writing about the leadership crisis that is eroding Corporate America and our country’s competitive advantage.  This is not simply my opinion; my stance and perspective is supported by numerous research studies, surveys and white papers published by distinctive institutions and prestigious global consultancies.  Not one or two studies, mind you, but more than a dozen point to the causality of the endemic employee disengagement crisis in our nation.  McKinsey & Co. reports that 90% of “C” level and one step down executives score below average in eight key leadership competencies.  A pitiful 1% actually score excellent in core leadership competencies.   Multiple studies have pointed out the fact that 70% of employees are not engaged cognitively or emotionally with their companies.  One doesn’t need a Ph.D. in Organizational Development to draw the correlation.

Oddly enough, these same leaders that demand more and more from their employees, while offering less and less in return, seem to walk on the proverbial compensation water.  Even when they fail miserably in the execution of their sacred trust to their customers, investors, associates, communities and stakeholders, their compensation committees pay them a king’s ransom to go away.

Roger Goodell, and the arrogance of the billionaire owners of the NFL that he represents, is a microcosm of the leadership disease that is eating away at the soul of America.  Embroiled in a petty labor dispute, a multi-billion dollar a year business is nickel and diming its professional officials, locking them out in a pure power play that the billionaire owners have become so accustomed to playing.  It’s the same behavior that built their fortunes and brought them entry into this obnoxious, exclusive boys’ club  known as the National Football League.

During ESPN’s post-game coverage of the debacle the NFL sold to America on Monday night, the honorable, Superbowl champion, and retired quarterback, Trent Dilfer commented, “You get so frustrated with incompetence that it turns to anger…I’m angry because the NFL has insulted my intelligence; it has insulted your intelligence…we have a multi-billion dollar machine and we’re letting this ruin it.  Its tearing the fabric of the game.”

Mr. Dilfer went on to say, “For ten years, this commissioner’s office has been coming into these NFL locker rooms saying ‘We’ll do anything to protect this shield. Anything to protect this brand.’  It is ironic that you, the NFL, is what’s screwing this brand up.”

ESPN analyst Rick Riley added, “You can’t take a $1,000 pair of Italian loafers and step in poop, over and over again, and that’s what we’re doing here.  This league was a Mona Lisa and Goodell is painting a mustache on it.”

Mr. Goodell has a five year, $100,000,000 contract.  Yeah, $20 million a year.  That’s a lot of zeros, isn’t it?  Especially for someone that is destroying the integrity of an entire league.  Someone that has locked out their officials and brought in Division Three officials from college football to officiate the games.  For those of you that are not familiar with the tiers of college football, Division Three is actually four tiers down from the games most of us see on television on Saturday afternoons.  High Schools in Florida play a faster, more competitive game than Division Three colleges.  It’s not the officials’ fault.  Their lack the training and experience which is necessary to competently officiate this level of competition simply isn’t there.  The echoes of corporate leaders, complaining that they can’t find qualified employees, while at the same time slashing training budgets, rings in my head when I contemplate this situation.

Don’t blame the officials.  Don’t blame corporate employees for our failing  competitive stance.  The incompetence lies in leaderships’ hands; fore they are the ones that are failing the American Dream.  And laughing all the way to their bank in the Caymen Islands.

© Terry Murray, 2012.


Filed under Leadership Development

3 responses to “The Worst Leader in America

  1. I agree that we have a deficit of real leadership that has led American culture, economics, and corporations into crisis. You make a very strong case.

    How do we turn it around? I for one and trying to do my part.

    Although it’s been around for a while, I recently discovered Daniel Harkavy’s book, “Becoming a Coaching Leader.” It inspired me to create a workshop to help equip leaders to make a difference by creating more leaders.

    • Hi Dan,

      Boy, how do we turn it around? From my perspective we have to walk an authentic path of being of service to those we lead. Associates and citizens are talked out. They need to see and “feel” authentic behavior from leaders.

      It’s what Joseph Campbell referred to as “The Hero’s Journey”. It’s a lonesome road at times, especially these times, but we simply have no alternative if we are to continue to compete on the world stage.

      I also have seen, from my research and experience, that the Gen X and Gen Y people simply no longer respond to transactional leadership. It’s why they jump from company to company every three years.

      The multi-generational and multi-cultural workplace will eventually force change. The market will force change as mindful leaders will attract and retain the most creative and innovative professionals

      Transformational will win in the marketplace in the coming talent wars.

      Thanks for your thoughtful response!

  2. Reblogged this on researchesofjoannemariesworld and commented:
    disturbing leadership taking advantage of employees afraid to leave jobs and leave a wider and wider gap between the lower echleons of associates becoming disassociated and the higher management, and including big money sport team organizations

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