I want to stay on the general topic of leadership for a bit, because there is something that I keep coming up against that is frustrating to me. It seems that we know a lot about what really good, sustainable leadership is. There are a lot of books about it. There are websites and blogs about it. There are conferences about it. We talk about it. I have conversations with you and others about the really important parts of leadership, and I am talking about the awareness, emotional intelligence, social intelligence, maturity, authenticity, integrity stuff here.
It seems to me that we tend to understand this stuff at the level of common sense, but at the same time…we seem to still get many organizational, institutional and even national leaders that have none of the above. I would go so far as to say that this is the underlying cause of our current economic chaos.
So. We have a problem and we seem to have the solution, but we are not implementing it for some reason. I like to blame business schools for as many things as I can, and the same goes for the media. As fun as that generally is for me, it also does not lead to a solution and lately I have been trying to focus a bit more on my own role. When I come up against peers or superiors or associates who are leading in a way that I know is not in the long run healthy for an organization or community, do I take action? Do we hold each other accountable?
I think that we do not for the most part. I would probably give myself a D+ after honestly reflecting on it. We might be good at tolerating them, and getting away from them, but do we do enough to challenge them? Because if we don’t, than we are equally a part of this problem. It is clearly not enough to simply know better.