To the Leader With An Iron Fist

Aug 27

Have you been “lead” by someone with an iron fist?  Have you thought about what you’d like to say to such a person?  My friend and blogger/social media expert Geoff Talbot is my guest and offers a suggestion.  You can read Geoff’s other work at: The Seven Sentences Blog


Are you proud of your ability to rule your subjects with an iron fist?

You may not think of yourselves in these terms instead you inwardly smirk at your ability to get people to perform tasks just because you said so. You are unafraid on occasions to bluntly cut down an ambitious climber with whip of your tongue.  When everything is truly quiet and you listen to that voice inside your own head, it’s a tape that’s going round and round saying the same thing over and over again… “DON”T mess with me. Don’t MESS with me. Don’t mess with ME!”

Unfortunately, I have to tell you one thing though…

“Suppression is the worst and most unproductive form of leadership.”

The iron fist that you so proudly shake at the world around you serves only two purposes,


  1. It crushes the spirits of others.
  2. And it crushes your own spirit.


Somewhere, sometime you may have bought into the “supremacy myth” that states that being a leader elevates you and makes you better, stronger, smarter and more significant that those who you lead. If I could think of one word that we should focus on in this article it is the word “privilege.”


The dictionary defines Privilege as follows:


As a noun: a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.


But as a verb: to authorize or license, something that is otherwise forbidden.


When you think of your position as a name or title( as a noun), it is very easy to remain lofty, supreme and remote BUT when it comes action (a verb), when you see your position of privilege as giving you the ability to authorize, unlock and license otherwise forbidden things the way you view your role may change.


Don’t you see how your iron fist is hurting you?


You could be experiencing the absolute joy of unlocking and giving license to the talents, the strengths and the creativity of those that you lead. Your privilege bestows upon you the absolutely awesome responsibility to nurture and raise up others around you… BUT instead you are controlling them, throttling their creativity, suppressing their talent, keeping them in line (in prison) because of this misplaced, incorrect view of what it means to be a leaders.


The genuine leader loves those who they influence, and love does not control others, instead it sets people free.


Via Fotolia and © smattok

So what happens to the pseudo leader who rules with an iron fist?


They become iron. What are the attributes of iron?


Iron is cold. Iron is inflexible. Iron forms a shape and never again changes form unless it goes through the hottest of fires. Iron is heavy. Inside a suit made of iron, the human soul atrophies away, the heart though protected from injury becomes unreachable, impenetrable and untouchable.


Do you really want to rule with an iron fist?


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