Downfall, a German film about he last days of Hitler, presents some of the most disturbing images of the second world war that I have ever seen. Hitler and his staff are in a large underground bunker as the Soviets advance on Berlin. As news comes of the collapse of German defenses, Hitler continues to order armies to move forward in a pincer movement and drive them back. The only problem? Those armies no longer exist in a meaningful fashion. The total disconnect is highlighted by Eva Braun’s writing to her sister telling her where items of jewelry have been left for repair, and what bills to expect. On the city streets it is obvious that there won’t be bills from any jewelry shops for quite awhile.
This event is perhaps the origin of the phrase “bunker mentality.” It is to take “believing in yourself” and “following your dream” to a place where only destruction awaits. It is to now listen to advice, to eliminate contrary information, to form a death wish rather than allow change.
Leadership requires that “bunker mentality” be resisted absolutely and rigoriously.