The Dark Arts 

So you think leadership is about vision, taking responsibility and inspiring others. Leadership is about holding on to power. 

We talk a lot about leadership qualities but we tend to skip over the darker skills used by leaders to defeat challengers. I’m referring to isolating, undermining and intimidating.  Getting people on your side in order to isolate any challenger. Emphasising your experience and knowledge and showing up the challengers lack of. Pointing out that you are in charge and if they don’t like it they can always leave. 

You allocate the work, you set the time scales and the performance targets. Plenty of scope there to set someone up to fail. Be overly critical of their work. Label them , Not a team player, make it clear that you don’t consider them promotion material ,  that their career ambitions are unrealistic, that they lack insight into the affect their behaviour has on others. Accuse them of  alienating colleagues by being argumentative , opinionated and insensitive. Say you consider them a loose cannon with an unhelpful tendency to go off script. 

Blair Mcpherson 


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