"Cult of personality" leads to bad outcomes, part 493,204
But when a cult of personality evolves around a leader, the outcome is almost always bad. Consider Joseph Stalin: Everyone around him constantly told him he was the smartest person who had ever lived, and that he had never--indeed, could never--make a mistake.
History would have fun with that. In 1939 Stalin signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler, secretly dividing Poland and neighboring countries between Germany and the Soviet Union. Stalin also agreed to give Hitler substantial quantities of material he needed to build the German army.
Alas, the supremely cunning, brilliant, infallible Stalin was duped by the equally cunning Hitler, who had decided to double-cross the Soviets and invade. To prepare for invasion Hitler moved a huge army to the river dividing the German portion of Poland from the Soviet one .
Several German soldiers who were also ardent Communists decided they loved communism more than they loved their homeland, and slipped across the border to warn the Soviets that the Germans were about to invade.
The Soviet officers who received these warnings passed them up the chain of command to Stalin, but Stalin refused to believe them. Instead he believed that the warning of an impending German invasion was a provocation intended to make *Stalin* attack first, breaking the treaty and giving Hitler an excuse to go to war against Russia. Stalin reasoned that if he refused to take the bait, Hitler wouldn't attack.
So Stalin ordered that the German communist soldiers who had defected to warn him of the impending invasion be shot. (There's a huge lesson there about the ruthlessness and ingratitude of rulers who have absolute power.) But the warnings were correct, and in June of 1941 the Germans attacked Russia with 199 divisions.
Stalin was utterly shocked and STILL refused give his officers permission to fight back, believing this was just a provocation. He had to be right, because everyone told him he was always right.
When it finally became clear that this was a genuine attack Stalin retreated to his country home.
It fell to Molotov to announce that the Soviet Union was at war with Germany. Finally, after 10 days members of the Politburo drove to Stalin's dacha.
Stalin admitted the Politburo members and quietly asked what they wanted. From his choice of words it was clear that he believed they had come to arrest him for his staggering incompetence in making a deal with Hitler, then ignoring the warnings and other evidence of an imminent German attack and not making proper preparations for war.
But to his great surprise the Politburo members merely asked him when he was coming back to his office, saying they needed him to organize the war effort. They insisted he was the only one who could lead the country, and swore their allegiance.
It was yet another example of an astonishing incompetent escaping punishment for his incompetence.
Thankfully our "Politburo"--the useless congress--is a lot smarter than their Soviet counterparts.
Yes, that's sarcasm.