The Three Levels of Leadership – Scouller Leadership Blog March, 2011 | The Three Levels of Leadership - Scouller Leadership Blog

Why Won’t Dictators Let Go?

Scornful Assad strikes defiant note: Syria’s leader adopted a defiant stance yesterday, blaming ‘conspiracies’ for two weeks of anti-regime protests and stopping well short of offering a widely anticipated reform package… President Assad made accusations but did little to address the demands of pro-democracy supporters, scores of whom have been shot by his security forces.  Just hours before his speech, a boy of 14 was shot in the head in the southern town of Deraa while carrying an olive branch on a peaceful march… after the speech, which echoed those of other flailing dictators across the region who have blamed foreign provocateurs and the media for fomenting unrest, hundreds of people took to the streets of the northern port of Latakia, chanting “freedom.” (The Times, Thursday 31 March 2011)

Many people watching the revolutions sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East may be asking themselves, “Why do dictators cling on to power when it’s clear most of their people no longer want them as their leader?  Why don’t they face reality and step down?  Why make things worse for themselves and their country by killing their fellow citizens?”

These questions touch on a psychological issue that affects most leaders – although not normally with such lethal results for themselves and those they lead.  It’s an issue that, if understood, can help leaders grow towards self-mastery – to the benefit of those they lead.  It can also help those who work with leaders, like executive coaches, offer better support. Continue reading →

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