Decline And Fall II - Wise Counsel
8th October 2008
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Hitler and Stalin are two of the most repugnant figures in history, but studying them can be a useful business model. It's no simple act of chance that Hitler committed suicide in his bunker with his ambitions in ruins and Stalin died of a stroke at his desk with the system he established, rotten as it was and sustained only by terror, persevering for another four decades after his demise.

The simple difference was that Stalin had the good sense to listen to his generals, although he waited until the Red Army had its back to the Volga before he stopped shooting generals and started taking their advice. Go on to look at any great leader and you see familiar patterns. Those who trusted only their own skills ultimately came a cropper. Some leaders, skilled as they are, forget that they are fallible human beings and start to believe their own propaganda. Margaret Thatcher, after leading the Conservative Party to three election victories, revolutionising and revitalizing British commerce, destroying the abused power of large Trade Unions and proving every detractor wrong got to the point where she believed she was NEVER wrong and forced the Poll Tax on the nation as well as telling the rest of Europe to get stuffed. Gerald Ratner who had built his business into an enormous empire got to the point where he felt he could confidently anounce to a public meeting of his amassed army of shareholders that they got to where they were by selling "total cr*p".

It can be just as dangerous to have the Midas Touch as having your back to the wall. The reality is that no matter how brilliant and successful you may be, you are nothing without the people who serve you and the odd dash of good luck (or providence depending on your belief). Without a little humility mixed in with your confidence, you carry the seeds of your own demise.

I have learned the importance of listening to everyone, even the most incredibly stupid, because everyone without exception will sooner or later produce one flash of brilliance, one pearl of wisdom, one inspired piece of advice. No one is so brilliant that they can do it all themselves all the time and always know best. As well as recognising and rewarding talent, be prepared to listen and evaluate, question and weigh up and remember that you are at the end of the day only human, destined to have your turn then to pass.

About the Author


Member since: 26th April 2012

I am a fully qualified and experienced hypnotherapist, Reiki practitioner and Stress Counsellor, based in Undercliffe, Bradford. I am proud to be a volunteer therapist for Bradford Cancer Support

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