Why Do Great Leaders Cheat?

teacher giving instructions not to cheat
Photo by RODNAE Productions

History is full of excellent and outstanding leaders that we all look up to as great role models and exemplary characters. However, one thing that is common with these first-class leaders is that a good number of them also cheated. This cheating can be in their professional, marital, or business lives but that great leaders cheat is not news. This write-up is going to analyze why they do this even when many consider this action to be counterproductive. 

Peer Pressure

Great leaders are also human beings who have others that are their friends or people who have significant influence over their lives. There are instances when leaders make this mistake because they are under the influence of the other people in their lives. So, yes, they can cheat because their peers or mates have convinced them that there is nothing wrong with it. Superior leaders are humans like you too and they are not always immune from external pressure. 


This can sound like one of the most bizarre reasons for cheating, but it is a very pertinent one. There are some instances when we as human beings just want to do things out of curiosity. We are aware of the consequences, but we just want to see how the outcome will be even if that will spell doom and destroy all that we have worked for. However, that is how we human beings are wired, we are very instinctive creatures. 

Bad Judgment

Outstanding leaders are praised for making good judgments and decisions from time to time. But the thing is that there are some cases when they outrightly make bad judgments. This can be because of mood changes, substance abuse, depression, or other challenges. Challenges can crop up at any time and that means that no leader is immune from making bad calls occasionally. 


There are some instances when an otherwise good leader decides to cheat because the opportunity presents itself. An ideal illustration of this is the case between former president of the United States Bill Clinton who was sexually involved with an intern in the White House, Monica Lewinsky. The scenario happened because the opportunity presented itself and the president took advantage of it. If there was a higher level of scrutiny, he might not have been able to pull off such a shocking scandal. 


In certain cases, leaders who depend on the information relayed by subordinates end up enmeshed in cheating scandals because they were either misdirected or misinformed. In these cases, it is not that the leader deliberately set out to cheat but he or she was misinformed into making the wrong decision. But the thing is that the leader must take responsibility for everything that happened – without fail. Whenever this happens, it can be classified by many to be an honest mistake at best, but it still damages the reputation of the leader. 


From all that has been outlined in the sections above, one can see very clearly that even the greatest of leaders are not immune from making mistakes and that explains why some of them still end up cheating. Anyone interested in becoming a true leader without blemish must pay remarkably close attention to these points so that they do not make the same mistakes. Being a genuine leader comes with its own set of challenges that one must adequately overcome. It can be quite shocking for us to realize that leaders do cheat from time to time, but this piece has made us realize that leaders are also human, and they are prone to making errors too. 

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