American Leadership Paradox

American Leadership Paradox

  • Are we at war with ourselves?
  • Why is the American political system so slow to act?
  • What is this struggle all about?
  • Tell me; is there someone here to blame?

Here is the short answer first:

We want a powerful altruistic Leader that makes quick decisions in our best interest, and provides us security,


we are a nation of individualists who want to be the Leader, and are ashamed to be in the follower role.

Our culture looks down upon the follower and we admire the Leader.

  • Who do we want to be?

The leader of course – We are American!

Well, the problem; Leaders need followers! 

If everyone is the Leader and no-one follows, then we have a problem:

It is called – The American Leadership Paradox!

  1. We want community and togetherness, but explicitly yearn for a capitalist society with the freedom to be an individual.
  2. We value family, but relish in the rebel persona.

Our culture is a paradox that tries to indulge on both ends of the spectrum.

Our Leaders are unable to lead because we choose to mock them instead of follow.

We display cognitive dissonance towards our Leaders

and believe that we could do a better job.

Maybe we could – If we work together.

The Nature/Nurture debate – Is it inborn or due to the situation?

Researchers determined this debate to be a 50/50 split.

If we are wonderful Leaders and our situation is not conducive to leading, then the cold hard truth is that Leaders will fail 50% of the time regardless of ability.

  • How do we survive in a Leaderless society?

Our models in family, business, politics, education, and more,

require a Leader who has power that is admired and followed.

  • Can we all be leaders without followers or is there another solution?

Currently, our Leaders are unethical, self-centered, and ruining our economy!

We as Americans, don’t trust the government, don’t trust commercials, don’t trust our neighbors, and don’t trust anything.


Is it because we are horrible people, you and I,

or is it because our system is coming to a breaking point?

  • Why do we tolerate unethical leadership?
  • Why do they act this way?

Short Answer: Our individualist system funneled these leaders to the pinnacle because they are the best players of the game our society created.

We tolerate them because, if they are our great Leaders, our elitist, and they are flawed, then we could possibly be better than them, and this perception sends our self-esteem sky rocketing.

We imagine that the positive regard they received could be said about us, because, of course, we are better.

The American Leadership Paradox!

  • How do we fix the Paradox?

My suggestions will be in part two of – The American Leadership Paradox.

Keith Lawrence Miller | The Elite Coach | The Million Dollar Coaching Company | | (855) My-Pro-Coach

Keith Miller

Keith Lawrence Miller, Organizational Psychologist, Board Certified Coach (BCC), Professional Credentialed Coach (PCC), with subject matter expertise in executive career & leadership coaching and management consulting supported by a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

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