The Cult of Leadership
Since first from earth’s primeval slough
Societies emerged somehow
And, retrogressing now and then,
Produced the dominance of Men,
It has been commonly agreed
There must be people who can lead.
The prince, the father or the priest
Met some criteria, at least,
For making in the infant state
Their leadership legitimate,
Though often, too, the biggest stick
Determined who might make the pick.
And then to leadership’s chagrin
Democracy came creeping in,
With radical ideas which said
The followers should choose instead;
Or, at least, should have a voice
To influence their masters’ choice.
Except, that is, strange to relate,
Within the corporate estate,
Where leaders, we are told, instead
Leap fully-clothed from Zeus’s head
Protected, unlike other things,
By some divine right of the kings.
Suggestions that the lesser fry
Have any right to choose defy
The consecrated rights of bosses,
Whether making gains or losses,
To answer only for their sin
To priests who put the money in.
And those who hew the wood and hump it
Are firmly told that they can lump it –
A system known to learned sages
To mark the neolithic ages,
But now unknown to observation
Outside the business corporation.
So leadership, as a result,
Is consecrated as a cult,
Endowed with charismatic powers
Light-years from the likes of ours;
Particularly useful while
The new machismo is in style.
So might it not be best to say
That leaders, too, have feet of clay,
And any claim to lead is hollow
Unless the troops consent to follow?
If not, I think the special pleaders
Should find another word than ‘leaders’!