One of the greatest leaders in all time was a murderer of millions. He was the Führer (leader) of the Nazi Party which governed Germany from 1933 to 1945. Being the Führer gave him the power to instigate the holocaust arguing that Jews were enemies of Germany. This is a great example of how absolute power can corrupt absolutely. However, power may corrupt leaders, but becoming corrupt depends on one’s personal character, personal gain, and leadership competence.
Abraham Lincoln said: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” Hitler hated Jews because he blamed them for the misery and suffering of Germany, and he abused of his power to try to eradicate a whole race. In fact, power brings temptation. While a good man will not abuse power, a man with bad character will do it.
Power becomes corrupt when leaders use it for their personal gain. When Hitler’s mother died, he live on the streets of Vienna for five years and he had to sell postcards to make a little money. He was interested in power, but he also interested in money. While he granted to be call Führer, he was also getting rich. There have been many leaders in the world, but just a few have used their power to benefit others. In fact, people become corrupt when they use their power for their own self-interest.
Incompetent Leaders often impose their will and power over other people. Hitler was not incompetent. In contrast, Hitler had social influence on German people, and he convinced them to establish a new order. He had political power because his word was absolute. For instance, he instigated the Holocaust which was a horrific genocide of about 11 million of people.
Most leaders become corrupt when they get power. For them, being corrupt may be the easiest way to get what they want, so they will try to keep it in spite of anything. Therefore, people’s concern should be what are their leaders doing?, in order to stop acts of corruption. Recognizing bad leaders is not easy, but people can identify these three characteristics of any leader: character, personal gain and leadership competence.