Since groups do what their leaders tell them to do, it is natural that their decisions are determined by their leaders. To truly understand the decisions a group makes, we must understand the rise and fall of a leader’s power. A “leader of the moment’s” power, as described earlier, is typically very short lived and they are motivated by a larger group. A military officer who leads his platoon into a battle is driven by the leader who influenced him to fight that battle.
We will examine the cycle of the rare self motivated leader, since their power commands the most abnormal actions.
Rare leaders, as previously discussed, are abnormal people. An abnormal person still experiences expectations cycles but their highs are higher and their lows are lower than a normal person. These higher highs and lower lows impress normal people to follow their expectations cycles. Since their limits are abnormal, their followers will follow them beyond their own personal limits. A primary attribute of a rare leader is their complete lack of foresight. Without foresight it is impossible for them to see how their actions are limited.
The leader’s passion and commitment to their cause hypnotizes their current members and attract new ones. These rare leaders are able to command their members to carry out their personal expectations.
In the beginning these leader’s test the waters of the limits of what their group is capable of. With every successful action they will ask more of their group members. The higher this leader goes in their expectations the more members they are able to attract. In the beginning this leader will have a clear purpose and defined agenda.
As the power of this rare leader peaks, so do the extreme actions of the group. As group membership grows too large, the message of the leader becomes spread thin. The leader’s decisions become erratic and his power over the group starts to teeter. The leader’s actions and therefore the actions of the group become less purposeful and clear. Their power has peaked and the group will start to disband slowly. At this point in a leader’s cycle they will attempt dramatic action.
For example, this is the point where Jim Jones led over 900 people to mass suicide. Jim Jones started becoming paranoid and delusional when some members started questioning his cause. This led him to test his influence over his followers. He tested the loyalty of his followers on multiple occasions with mock mass suicide before the actual day.
When Congressman Ryan visited Jones Town and some members requested to leave with him, Jim Jones and several members of his group killed the Congressman and other innocent bystanders. He then used his last bit of influence over his group to lead them to a mass suicide. Jim Jones commanded so much influence of his followers that 276 of the over 900 dead were children. Parents took the lives of their own children for this rare abnormal leader.
Time takes the power of these leaders away. Time erodes the power of these leaders. The decisions of a leader during his loss of power are hopeful. The rare and once powerful leader will yearn for their previous influence. Their message has less impact and their followers will start to regain self control over their actions.
What makes these leaders so powerful is their ability to become martyrs. History books will tell their stories and spread their influences for generations to come. Some leaders will have statues, roads, cities, schools, among other structures, named after them. A Leader may be thought of as negative in their time but martyred in the future.
If a leader is killed or dies at the peak of his power, he becomes a legend. A leader is most powerful when he dies at his peak of power.
Groups have time limits. Normal is the baseline for who we are. Group members will always return back to normal, unless their leader dies at their peak, since group membership has a time limit.