It is often heard in the Army that the commander should be the first one in the shot line and the last one in the chow line. The notion was that leaders should share the hardships of their comrades and see to the needs of their followers before attending to their own. Such selfless leadership unfortunately seems to be a rarity in many organizations today.
Yes, those at the top of the organizational pyramid do receive perquisites and inducements, but that is appropriate to the extent that it facilitates their work or encourages others to seek such difficult and demanding positions. After all, we want our most talented to strive for leadership roles. I do not think, however, that it serves us well when a sense of entitlement sets in around certain positions or when it is disconnected from performance or actual worth.
A leader's example serves as a powerful tool for inspiring others. Leaders who share the trials and tribulations of their followers tend to gain respect while those who line their pockets or seek comfort while their subordinates suffer justly garner our derision.
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