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LEADERSHIP: Why Are We Surprised Lance Armstrong is a Dysfunctional Bully?

Lance Armstrong.  Say the name and you get a lot of emotional tags back.

Liar! Cheat!  

But the one that gets me is this one - "I'm just Disappointed in Lance."  


Why are we shocked that Lance Armstrong was a dysfunctional bully who blew up everything and everyone in his path en route to becoming a 7-time Tour De France champion?

Here's my point.  Think about the people you know or are familiar with who have scaled to the highest point in their profession.  I want you to think really hard - don't just stop with the public face/brand.  Think about what you really know about that person.

In most cases, you're going to find a flawed human who buried some bodies on the way to the top.

Life is hard. Life at the top is easy, until you see what's required to get there.  Politics. Sports.  Business.  Find someone at the top and dig a bit, and you'll find a ruthless streak buried just underneath the surface.

It's a bitch to get to the top. There's too much competition. One of the things that separates those who get to the top from those who were close?  The ability and willingness to plunk a knife in someone's back. To burn that innocent city to the ground. To do what's necessary.

Lance Armstrong is an amazing story for being a cancer survivor and finishing the Tour De France.  Right?  But to finish first?  He had to take PEDs (everyone else was doing it). To win multiples and not be branded as a cheater?  He had to bully everyone around him in a way that was 180 degrees from the corporate brand presented by Livestrong and all the other marketing channels.

Do you want your kids to grow up to be the best? Think long and hard before you answer - it's a loaded question.




You are the best. The top of the heap in HR blogging. You've risen past the competition. So I have a couple of questions:

1) What city did you burn?
2) Who did you knife?
3) When do you go on Oprah?

Your loyal fan,


Bob -

Great questions.

1. Carthage

2. Caesar

3. April 1, 2013



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