I doubt that students at Stanford thought they would become sadistic prison guards when they entered that university, primed for higher learning.
I doubt that the teacher who gave electric shocks to a “student” had planned that as part of her day.
I doubt that when budding physicians enter medical school, any plan on torturing people through rectal feeding.
Why do good people do bad things? In most cases, it’s the system.
Leadership is not getting people to do things for you. It is not being in charge and making decisions. Real leadership, the only leadership anyone should aspire to, is making more human systems. This can be a company, a non-profit organization, an institution, a government agency, or your family.
Anything less than working on creating a better system for people is not leadership. It may be self-aggrandizement, vanity, or even custodial work, but it is not leadership. Good leaders prepare for their departure. All that is left when they depart are the structures and systems they have helped put in place. The measure of a leader is his or her legacy. If they get a performance review, it should be given years after they leave. I wonder how many of our current leaders would get a positive review in retrospect. Probably not very many, if 19 alumni of Harvard Business School who made it to the top, are any indication.
“A majority, 10, seemed clearly to have failed, meaning that the company went bankrupt, they were forced out of the CEO chair, a major merger backfired, and so on. The performance of another 4 we found to be questionable at least. Some of these 14 CEOs built up or turned around businesses, prominently and dramatically, only to see them weaken or collapse just as dramatically.” – Henry Mintzberg