Last night I completed watching the third season of Tudors--a series that dramatizes the reign of King Henry VIII. I'm not a student of history and haven't been much interested in either the monarchs of England or the history of the Catholic Church. However, this series has heightened my interest in both.
King Henry VIII was the absolute ruler in England for 38 years. He even had himself declared to be the supreme head of the Catholic Church in England. During his reign, he killed thousands of citizens, religious leaders, and even beheaded two of his six wives.
One of the things I can't get off my mind through watching this show is the misuse of power that has occurred through history and even today--yes, even in the church. Although I don't know of any current church leaders who execute their members, I do think that the misuse and abuse of power can creep into any hierarchical organizations.
Your organization might be in trouble if led by leaders who...
- Do not listen to input.
- Surround themselves with only people who agree with them all the time.
- Quickly silence those who disagree.
- Have no interaction with "common" people.
- Make rules for others but consider themselves the exception.
- Set up a structure where they can spend money without accountability.
This isn't to say that any leader who makes a decision you don't agree with is a power-hungry dictator. But it does make me glad that I work with/for a man who isn't insecure in his leadership nor threatened by strong leaders or dissenting views.