• Curt Mercadante

"When you demand perfection, you get deception."

"When you demand perfection, you get deception."

This quote has been in my head since earlier today when interviewed Larry Sharpe, a seasoned management and leadership consultant, who also ran as the Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York in 2018.


A fascinating interview (coming up soon in The Authority Brand Podcast).


Larry and I share a disdain for authoritarianism -- but we also realize this is different than becoming your own authority.


After all, my podcast is named The Authority Brand.


Larry's quote came during a discussion of leadership styles. Coercive bosses can demand perfection, and in doing so, they breed deception and mistrust among their employees.


Heck, we've seen this over the past year, with the lockdowns turning some small business owners into criminals as they attempt to feed their families.


But does this also happen in your workplace? Coercive bosses create a work culture of mistrust; a culture of tattlers and deceivers.


As I told Larry, it reminds me of several writings of Lao-Tzu in the Tao Te Ching, especially Chapter 17:


When the master governors, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.
If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.
The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"
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