The Leader Learner Podcast

S02E20: The Leadership Beyond Morality: Othering Others for Othering Episode

June 12, 2023 Theresa Destrebecq & Vincent Musolino Season 2 Episode 20
The Leader Learner Podcast
S02E20: The Leadership Beyond Morality: Othering Others for Othering Episode
Show Notes


  • If you had the whole world's attention for 30 seconds, what would you say or do?

Big Ideas:

  • Hypocrisy and leadership
  • Immorality in leadership
  • Do leaders have to be good people?
  • We think of leadership as for the good of the people
  • What tactics are immoral leaders using to get people to follow them?
  • Leadership as a pipeline - a relationship between people
  • How you position yourself in respect to other people
  • Leadership can be about how you hook and attract them
  • Charisma as a tool to attract people
  • "Othering" of people - politicians using this tactic to gain followers
  • Commonality and the group to bring people together
  • Using fear with your own people to hold them
  • Totalitarianism versus Populism
  • The leadership purpose is different from the tools
  • Inverse charisma - how you draw people in based on how you listen to them, not how you talk
  • Charisma as a source of power - do people give you charisma?
  • Shifting leadership depending on our audience - some people need to be listened to, some people need to be inspired
  • Adaptive or situational leadership
  • Leading from the front, not the back
  • Cultural aspects of leadership
  • Open and closed ways of leadership
  • Our own biases shift how we perceive a leader as good/bad
  • Leaders who are reassuring and are perceived as "strong" - people looking to leaders for strength
  • Leaders are leaders because they help other people not feel afraid
  • Idea that leadership starts from within
  • People wanting to be told what to do and how to think
  • Power over versus power with/power to
  • What do you do when you want to offer people power, and they don't want it?
  • Freedom is hard. Ignorance is bliss.
  • Do people really want autonomy?
  • Are we participants in the creation of immoral leadership?
  • Amoral leadership - leadership without morality
  • Immorality creates an us/them 
  • Should leadership be moral?
  • Trust is a psychological mechanism, value is what you think is important
  • Can we try NOT to use the moral lens when talking about leadership?
  • Pragmatism versus morality
  • Take morality off the table and listen for their values
  • How we embody values can look different
  • How stay on debate without arguing
  • Power in having a structured debate with a strong moderator
  • Debating from the opposite side of your beliefs
  • Constructive conflict that leads to innovation and creativity
  • Disagreement isn't the same as conflict
  • Leadership is when you stay outside of our "animal self" - you stay above the fray
  • "People are hard to hate close up. Move in." 
  • Easy for us to form opinions about other people without really knowing them
  • Change the conditions by which you measure people and you can say anyone is anything
  • Does a leader need to go beyond morality?
  • Easy to other people for othering others
  • Values as a factor in conflict because of it's rigidity
  • Globalization has led to value conflict

Resources Mentioned:

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