“I can make it fit. No, you can’t, it is not going to work. You know it, and I know it. Fine, I’ll show you. Go ahead then, you will figure it out.” Moments later, “Why will this not fit?”

A square peg in a round hole… the classic idiom.


We have all seen the pre-school hands-on learning tool, and we have seen children trying to figure it out. Never ceasing to be amazed at the comedy that it provides.

Oh, but how many leadership truths can be found in something so trivial?

Now, fast-forward to adults in leadership settings who are trying to do the same thing. Have you ever asked that question of, “How did that person get that leadership position?” The comedy increases, but it is not the same kind of harmless fun. It takes on a whole new level that could have a negative effect on many.

Bottom line, truth to be considered, is the fact that some people have leadership positions because of who they know instead of what they know. Yes, believe it or not, wrong people can be in leadership positions. Why and how, are questions that probably do not want to be answered. It happens, and we see it every day. Our society is running rampant with it in every area imaginable where leadership is involved.

While the outer appearance looks great, square peg, round hole leaders really do not contribute to the growth and development of others. Motivation is done through fear, and the assertion of their leadership only happens when mistakes are made, thus creating rejection.

Square peg, round hole leaders sell a facade of leadership that it can work and the main issue is that many “trick” themselves into thinking that it actually can, knowing all along that the square peg is not fitting in that round hole.

So, what to do? I have more questions than I have answers for this blog post, but I do know that time has a way of revealing everything for what it is worth. The one constant I believe that will always work is to be for others and the greater good and not your own self-interests.

©2019 J Clay Norton


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