False Leaders Often Emerge in Times of Crisis

Crises expose false leaders, with their inability to offer or implement effective solutions to problems or challenges.

6 mins read
False Leaders Often Emerge in Times of Crisis

What is the main characteristic of so-called false leaders? They are people who are in positions of leadership for reasons other than their ability or competence to guide or achieve the common goals of a group. Crises are excellent opportunities to bring to light what people in positions of power are really made of.

As you can probably guess, crises are also moments of unresolved complexity and uncertainty. Those who have leaders expect them to take control of the situation and show the way. It is in these moments that false leaders are exposed. They are the ones who not only fail to take responsibility, but make matters worse.

Many false leaders compensate for their incompetence with a relatively effective weapon in this age: Political marketing. One of the characteristics of such leaderless leaders is that they spend more energy covering up their failures than solving problems.

False leaders and integrity

It is clear that honesty is not the strength of false leaders. They reached positions of power through shortcuts. For example, they may have been related to the owner of the company, they may have deceived voters, or they may have paid to get where they are. In short, they did not get where they are on their own merits.

They are therefore false leaders, mainly because they put their personal interests first. As you can see, a true leader represents the interests of many and seeks collective, not individual, prosperity.

A false leader is immediately apparent when a crisis arises. Instead of proposing a solution that benefits the group, a false leader will first and foremost protect himself and his own interests in the face of threats.

Unpopular or shocking decisions

Crises, especially the most serious ones, often require decisions that are unpopular or abhorred by some sectors or groups. For example, during an economic crisis, the best way out is to reduce the salaries of top managers. It is clear that executives will not be happy about this.

Likewise, in the face of a health crisis, as has happened recently, some activities may need to be restricted. Many people resent these limits for many reasons. However, they are the most appropriate decisions to protect the majority.

Only a true leader can make such decisions. They are not interested in preserving their capital of acceptance or favorability, but in solving the underlying problem. The welfare of the majority is what guides their criteria and they treat lack of understanding or rejection as a secondary issue. However, false leaders often make decisions just to gain acceptance.

Self-interest and marketing

Many leaders, especially politicians, use marketing extensively in times of crisis. Their aim is to make decisions in their favor while promoting the idea that such decisions benefit the majority.

They also try to maintain a good image, given that crises do not always have quick solutions and can erode the public image of those responsible.

False leaders are driven by the idea of “every man for himself” and of course they are the first to jump ship. But they know that this could jeopardize their future interests, so they disguise their actions under the guise of propaganda.

Actions such as the following are common:

  • A false leader encourages artificial optimism and tries to reduce the critical attitude directed at management.
  • Provides false information by presenting biased data. Thus, for example, instead of saying how many people died in a crisis, he or she talks about how many people recovered.
  • He finds inefficient but shocking solutions rather than real ones. This is because the false leader gravitates towards actions that cause emotional effects. In the end, he is more interested in showing off than in real progress.
  • False leaders rarely solve anything on their own. However, they always blame an external factor for their inefficiency when this eventually becomes obvious.

False leaders do a lot of damage because they have power, but they only use it for their own benefit. It doesn’t matter what position a person holds or how well the press talks about them. A good leader is characterized by effective results, not by the pomp and circumstance surrounding their actions.

The content is for informational and educational purposes only. They are not a substitute for the diagnosis, advice or treatment of a specialist. If you have any doubts or concerns, it is best to consult a trusted professional.

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