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The Persecutor Pattern And Real Leadership Power
2010-05-07 18:17:14

In a recent article in Fortune Magazine (January 18, 2010) there is a sad, disturbing story about a billionaire who has a pattern of battling with his ?exes? in court; ex-employees, ex-associates, and especially ex-wives (there are four of them to date). A pattern is a behavior that repeats and repeats in many different situations. It is one of the biggest traps in both personal and professional life. The persecutor pattern is one where a seemingly strong individual points fingers of blame and will do what ever it takes to get his/her way and make others feel insignificant. It often comes from a legacy of persecution handed from generation to generation. Think of the school yard bully or the boss who rants and raves when things at work do not go well. Think of the dictators, Hitler, Stalin, and Kim Jong-Il, who beat down their citizens. In their cases and in most persecutor histories, there is a family legacy where they or those in their families were abused - often physically, always emotionally. Here is the subtle part of strong-arm persecutors; they will take on anyone who may seemingly be a threat and hope to nail them to the ground before the other can become a threat to them. It is a common theme; the abused become the abusers. In ?Don?t Bring It to Work?, you can learn more about how these disruptive patterns suck up energy and money, waste time and cause long term conflicts. There are tips and tools to help you, so you won?t get caught in the trap of pattern repetition like Perelman. Perelman, the big Revlon mucky muck who has vast holdings in many companies, is not a leader to emulate. He is not one to teach positive ways of conflict resolution. He is one to learn from by watching how he behaves with people and how NOT to be in relationships. He has a persecutor personality, one usually referred to as a bully, a mean spirited man who will win at any cost. The only place he seems to have a mutual enjoyment in relationships is with lawyers. These guys rake in millions from Ron?s feisty fights. What struck me in the Fortune article is the fact that money in Perelman?s hands means power, and power means destroying others. It is a pattern, not of righting wrongs; it is one of gaining the upper hand. That is the power of the abused becoming abusers, the kind of power dictators have used for centuries. The article puts the main spotlight on Perelman?s feud with his second wife?s family. The daughter of this union, Samantha, is an eighteen year old who when quoted, seems to be mouthing sound bites straight from the script of her father?s lawyers. The fight, on the surface, is about who gets the largest pot of gold. Yet, in Samantha?s words, ?The lawsuit in no way stands to enrich my father. Instead it stands to protect my mother?s legacy?? Looking closely, albeit from the outside, it appears the real fight is about love, and loyalty. Who will fight the bigger and better fight for this girl emerging into womanhood? The amounts of money are staggering; money, however, only deflects the deeper issues. Her mother died from cancer and one of the main requests of her then ex-husband was to allow Samantha to have liberal visitation with her parents and brother. Before she died, she stressed that these relationships were extremely important to her. As I read the article I wondered if Ronald Perelman felt no one ever stood up for him as a child. I thought about the obvious, yet unsaid emotional disconnects that must be in his life. Was it from the strict father the article says he had, or elsewhere? I wonder what would happen if he had the ability to look the persecutor pattern square in the face and see how he keeps using power to win over others; same theme, different setting. Einstein once said that the best definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting different results. Maybe instead of lawyers getting the bounty, Perelman, and the rest of the family could look into the deeper issues that are at play and find a way to leave a legacy from her mother for Samantha that will matter well past dollars in a trust fund.;

Source: The Persecutor Pattern And Real Leadership Power


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