I recently wrote a blog about where all the leaders have gone. I was stealing the title of Lee Iacocca’s book on the subject. It was somewhat ironic that the day after I wrote that blog, last week, it was announced that he had died.
It was the advent of Boris Johnson winning the race to be British Prime Minister that made me think that I had better be a little more careful in what I wish for.
I bemoaned the fact that we appear to have few people who are willing to stand up and be counted when hard decisions need to be made.
It has now occurred to me that the cry for that missing leadership may have been the reason that the world has thrown up Trump, Putin, Xi Junping and now Boris. Again, perhaps I should be more careful in what I wish for.
Mankind has always had leaders in one form or another. Some people seem to have an in-built tendency to lead and most people are quite content to follow. The idea that we could survive without leadership just doesn’t compute in the human psyche.
So, we have a dilemma. We want leaders so we don’t have the responsibility of making nasty decisions ourselves – my bias I admit – but, today, we also seem to feel we have the complete right to loudly criticize the decisions they make and therein lies a conflict.
I have always believed that if you don’t have the courage to participate in a decision, you have no right to complain about the result. This applies at all levels: family arguments up to and including voting for political representatives. Over the years it hasn’t made me particularly popular but I still believe it.
I don’t have an answer for this dilemma but it is an interesting conflict that I have not heard addressed very often. It may well be a “fact-of-life” and un-resolvable.
Perhaps the search for a benevolent dictator should be intensified. That concept seems to embody all the traits we would want – a leader who is willing to lead and, at the same time, be a leader who’s philosophy and goal is to help and support the rest of us.
Does anyone have an idea where such a paragon of virtue might be found?