Not sure what part to respond to, so I can do a partial counter-rant.
Leaders are evil by the position they are placed in. They have to prove themselves otherwise in each decision they make.
Why do I say leaders are evil? It is because they think of human beings in terms of that are de-humanizing (how many "heads" to we have to cut? It's time to trim the "fat", etc.)
They are willing to sacrifice what their underlings values just to accomplish a mission or objective.
Underling: I need a couple of days off to help my brother move. My parents are too old to help him.
Leader: I need to think about it, we have <some inevitable, usually meaningless, deadline> coming up, not sure I can give up the "man-power" (yet another de-humanizing term)
In modern times, leaders have to convince not command. Keep in mind that the same employee who is a slacker and does the minimum to get by in your organization, may have been a top performer in another, and may again be a top performer in another to come.
Individuals have varying career goals. If their current job is impeding those goals more than they are enhancing them, they will move their efforts elsewhere. Hobbies, school, and if things get bad, a side-business, a second job, or a high-effort job hunt. If they're openly threatening to quit, then their current jobs are at odds with their career goals (whatever they may be).
It is tit-for-tat. You work for them as much as they work for you. No matter what the title is. If you suck at removing obstacles from their ability to do their job, you are unlikely to be respected as a boss, since, in their eyes, you are incompetent at your job.