The Cartoon Serpentor's Three Marks of Awful Leadership!
Serpentor for the cartoon version was incredibly different from his comics counterpart. While the comics Serpentor was a real charismatic leader, the cartoon Serpentor is one terrible leadership. So how does Serpentor lead COBRA? One may consider this:
1.) An extreme lack of patience. Serpentor lacked Sun Tzu's DNA (Dr. Mindbender was a moron not to consider Mao Zedong's DNA could have worked better). He is always quick to react to every irritation with violence. For example, he immediately gave in to Sgt. Slaughter's challenge. Worse, he is never willing to wait for results. His short temper and resolving to violence for everything shows he's never willing to reason with anyone.
2.) Ego-driven dictatorship. Serpentor said that he is created fully sentient, all-knowing and all-powerful. When the Crimson Twins tried to suggest to him that his plan was plain suicide, he attempted to choke them. He thinks he's a true emperor, he rules by imperialistic ways like he frequently demands tribute. His ego frequently comes in between whatever plans were more effective, making Cobra Commander more tolerable. What's worse is he always uses fear and intimidation to rule COBRA.
3.) The scapegoat mentality. Serpentor thinks he is never wrong or at least, he knows he's wrong but refuses to acknowledge it. It's very evident whenever he uses Cobra Commander to take blame for failures he's responsible for. The famous line of Cobra Commander is, "But who will you blame if your Royal Vipers find out how imperfect you really are? You need me for a scapegoat... my lord." He only keeps Cobra Commander to take the blame for every failure he commits.