If you thought or still think, that the virus is the problem, well think about it one more time! Sure enough the Virus does what it does and brings along, all the unpleasantness and unwanted scenarios, but what really allows all of that to manifest and emerge is the quality and quantity of Leadership that you have around you! The story unfolding around us, this very moment is a story of “Leadership Pandemic”- An emerging challenge of sorts which brings us simply back to fundamental spaces of how societies are built, operate and progress! Join me here as we take a look around this space and understand, what really is happening around us and what is that you and I can do or not do in this fluid state! So here we go!
History and even the present times are a testimony to a very powerful reality, which is a simple fact that “The problem rarely is the real problem”, the way we choose to respond to a situation is what either resolves it or ends up complicating it further, making the problem more menacing and complicated to deal with! The current context of the pandemic around the world is perhaps a glaring example of this! So now the real question, why would this happen, or rather why would we allow this to happen? Well the answer to that resides in the whole social space around “expert worship” and “conformation bias” orientation!
Even as the pandemic travelled across the world, taking down one nation after the other, the inherent inertia, ignorance and colossal refusal to act in a timely and decisive manner, failed one nation after the other and what perhaps could have been a managed and controlled health risk, was overnight transferred into a global health emergency. All of this boils down to the simple one question, “who was taking the decisions- For the resulting success or failures are nothing but a manifestation of the wisdom or stupidity of the leader’s mind- the ability to gauge, analyze and think ahead! This is from where the real problem begins and this is the space where the leadership pandemic begins to take shape! With that simple act of taking or not taking a meaningful action!
What really unfolds in a leadership pandemic is that, a problem at hand ends up being more complicated and what could have been easily or with less hardship overcome, tends to just keep getting bigger and bigger with no end in sight! The current spread of the pandemic is a classic example here, sure enough when the menace started everyone was taken by surprise (which as a thought itself, is too good to believe!), so needless to say, we can overlook and say everyone did what they could do best with the limitations and access to resources that they had, but when you see the same problem persists over a longer period of time and returning in a more menacing manner, well then what you need to look at is- what was done or not done in the in-between period of perceived calm and this uptick of the second, third resurgence! It is in the crucial months and days in-between the calm that the fostering of false sense of complacency , the “everything is fine” and the usual self-centred, self-glorifying approaches of establishments have led their societies straight into the path of an even more bigger disaster! So what do we do about this? Well read on!
Sure enough by now, many leaders both public and private are pretty much exposed with regards to their proven ability to deliver and inability to rise to the occasion, this brings us to the vital space that deals with the quality of leadership! The world right now is stocked up with leaders who are accidental at their best and have ended up being where they are simply because they happen to be better then those around them- not necessarily because they bring with them some defining vison or charismatic skill to lead or be a leader! Sure enough, there are a few original and authentic leaders across the political and corporate world, but there are few and far in between; given the kind of mess that humanity has got into- it just goes to exemplify what happens when few wise whispers are overlooked by the noise and chatter of proclaimed experts and leaders! Fair enough, you may argue, but what is that we can do about this?
Well, to begin with no one is asking you to hold a protest or get on to the digital world and express your opinion, emotion and bring about a change- well these may be valuable ways as long as you want to push in some constructive and creative element for a positive way to tackle a problem and bring about the necessary empowering alignment, but the whole point here is, “what is that you are doing about a problem at hand, at an individual level? How are you leading yourself?” Very often when it comes to compelling questions that a society engages or deals with, people tend to perceive those questions to be “they” as in the society versus “me” as in the individual, the fact is that all social challenges , whether global or local start at an individual level and depending on how powerful that individual is and what position and power equation are at that individuals disposition, the challenges will either accelerate, get complex , assume a larger and widespread scale or end up being limited and localised to a pocket withing the community or even perhaps to a few units in the community or just perhaps that individual! This is the foundational bedrock that needs to be visited and addressed if any society wants to being about even an aorta of meaningful and progressive change for a few or the many!
Unlike what gets played out on the TV screens day in and day out, depicting people in important positions as success stories of failures, the whole gamut of meaningful and purpose oriented leadership begins with each individual. Unless each one of us doesn’t take responsibility of who we are and what we do, it becomes impossible to check the quality of what someone else may offer- simply because we ourselves don’t behold the flavour and essence of meaningful and directed leadership. Unless this changes and we assume charge to lead ourselves to begin with, every and any attempt to deal and engage with social or community wide issues will almost always end up being a stop gap arrangement with no enduring or long lasting solution or approach! How we treat ourselves, is how society will end up treating us!
An empowered society is not about one magical leader dictating what others must do, on the contrary it is the ability to empowered individuals to keep their chosen, qualified leadership on the toes to achieve and foster what they have as individuals for the wider audience of a society or a community. This is how and when meaningful and progressive change and development happens! The real problem is and was never the problem, it has always been and will always be the response to the problem, which either simplifies it or complicates it! That well, depends on how bad the leadership pandemic has set into a given society and within the individuals who go on to make that society!
I leave you here with these thoughts, take a pause and do think about it, what is the real problem and what is a more failing pandemic, the one on our hands now or the one that always has been! Ciao for now will be back soon with another one until then, stay safe, stay wise and think!