Following on from yesterday’s post “Can leaders have fatal weaknesses?” I have watched with interest the proceedings concerning Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the now former head of the IMF. Riley Harrison commented on the yesterday’s post that this is “a very topical post considering the plight of the French leader”
Here is a public leader who had international respect for his financial aptitude and negotiations. He was even a Presidential hopeful. However, his private life, it would seem, harbours many “skeletons in the cupboard.” He is alleged to have attempted to rape a chamber maid in New York and is currently applying for bail.
It would appear that Mr Strauss-Kahn is well-known in his homeland of France as “The Great Seducer.” It doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination as to how he came by that nickname. However, what this public “downfall” shows is that leaders will one day be brought to account, and will have to face the consequences of their actions.
A leader has to:
- have integrity – in ALL areas of his/her life. There is no separating one from the other.
- take personal responsibility, and the consequences of his/her decisions and actions.
- acknowledge that just because “others do it” that doesn’t make it right. France has some of the strictest privacy laws and many hide behind these. The British Members of Parliament expenses claims is also a case in point of “others do it.” Now some have been jailed for fraud.
In all of this, we have to remember that Mr Strauss-Kahn has not been convicted of any crime. However, there is an old adage “There is no smoke without fire.”
And a reminder of some other leaders that have recently fallen – particularly to sexual behaviour issues:
All leaders have to understand that they are not beyond the law.
Robert Weiss, founder and director of the Sexual Recovery Institute, which specializes in sexual addiction, says “If their narcissism or egotism isn’t matched by a healthy dose of humility of what it means to be human … and they run on their intellect and don’t attend to their emotions on any level … then they are bound for trouble”
- French writer Tristane Banon to file her own complaint against Dominique Strauss-Kahn
- IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Resigns
- Maladies of the Unethical in Power
- Power Running Amok: Strauss-Kahn and John Ensign
- Sex, lies and reckless choices of power
- Dominique Strauss-Kahn Resigns From IMF – New York Times (news.google.com)
- Strauss-Kahn arrest: End of the French media taboo? (csmonitor.com)
- IMF Scandal: The Three Wives of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (time.com)