Loyalty and the Führer Principle

President Trump apparently has a short fuse when it comes to firing people who disagree with him or criticize him.

But loyalty surely means something different in a democracy than in a dictatorship, whether in business or in government.

Good leaders need people around them who are not “yes”-men/women. Although I haven’t read it, I understand that Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals, about Lincoln and his cabinet, provides a good analysis of working with a team that has lots of disagreements and strong personalities. It’s a bit scary to consider how WWI in Europe might have gone had Hitler not fallen deeper and deeper into megalomania and the unwillingness to be surrounded by other than toadies.

Surely, at some level, a leader’s team must share the leader’s basic values. It’s impossible to tell how to apply that standard, though, when Trump’s basic values (beyond groping) are impossible to know.

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