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).




2 comments:

  1. Brian,

    Interesting perspective. Many servant leadership advocates have mused that leadership, in itself, is neither good nor evil. Maxwell would agree: "Leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less." However, as soon as one specifies SERVANT Leadership, it necessitates leadership that is beneficial to the stakeholders and not the individual.

    One could learn about leadership from deplorable men. They can not learn about servant leadership from the same. Thank you for sharing. Keep up the great work and please, keep serving!

    BTW: I hail from your neck of the woods - grew up in Southeast PA - mostly Allentown area though.

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    1. Benjamin thanks for the keen insight. I really like the idea that leadership is neutral. When we specify what kinda leadership it is (servant) then that leadership is qualified.

      Thanks for the visit.

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