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Understanding Leadership

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Understanding Leadership:

When former members of religious cults start to rebuild their lives, they find difficulty in many areas. Having been under the abuse and control of narcissistic leadership, many struggle submitting to authority. Like an abused wife facing painful memories each time they start to form a relationship with another man, former cult members often suffer when new authority figures enter their lives. Like the abused wife reminded of her abusive husband, former cult members are reminded of both the central figure and the oppression of the cult when an authority figure becomes slightly demanding or overbearing, If the pressure starts to gradually increase, and the former member notices the change, an explosion is almost inevitable. This explosion can have painful consequences.

Years of being emotionally manipulated results in a different understanding of leadership. Successful authority figures are no longer seen as motivators, mentors, or leaders. Under stressful situations, they are mistaken for "the enemy" rather than a member of the team. Though many compassionate leaders exist in this world, demanding environments such as the workplace have little time for compassion. In many cases, the former cult member must "shape up or ship out". Sadly, these situations can result in major setbacks for those who have recently escaped a cult.

While understanding leadership is best learned through experience, there are ways in which former members can prepare themselves. Care must be taken to remove stress factors that can accelerate "explosions". Mental exercises can re-associate good thoughts to leadership. Thinking of people who made a positive impact when the boss is around can slowly reprogram negative thoughts into positive energy. Find ways give yourself encouragement, by listening to motivational speeches or surrounding yourselves with optimistic people. Most of all, re-learn the power of true, genuine leadership.