Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler
I've just recently started reading a book by Robert Gellately, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler and was struck with the adjectives that the author used to describe the leadership styles of these depraved, debased, and debauched men.
The author described these men as visionaries, men who were relentless in the pursuit of their goals, never allowing their mission and vision to be compromised.
Gellately characterized these men as always being smart enough to get the "right people on their team," surrounding themselves with people who would support their mission and vision.
Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were all marked by a dogged determination to fulfill their dreams, these men would let nothing stand in their way; their passion and drive carried them to complete their goals.
So, these are the kind of character traits that I've read about in every leadership book that I've ever read. These men exhibited the same leadership traits that many of us strive to emulate---we all want to be visionaries, we all want to possess dogged determination, we all want to have the "right people on our team" etc.
When we look back at the legacy that these men left behind we know that something was missing in their leadership arsenal. Take a look at one stat on the people who were killed under the regimes of these brutal men:
Hitler - about 11 million
Lenin - 2-3 million
Stalin - 27 million.
Author Gellately described the Lenin led Bolshevik revolution by saying "They [the Bolsheviks] put the cause before civil and legal rights." The cause for these three men was their God: truth, integrity, right and wrong never mattered, the only thing that ever mattered was "the cause."
Christian leader, what is your cause? Is your cause to bring glory and honor to your King? Any other cause will bring about God's disapproval and anger.
The Scripture admonishes us ...that whatever we do, we are to do it all for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).