Well said and timely. I think you are touching on something very real here, and something that runs pretty deep. I do not think the real issue at hand is that we have the wrong leaders, but to a large degree it is that we have the wrong way of leadership…and that is something that we all contribute to and participate in, it belongs to all of us.
This kind of reminds me of our relationship with the media in this country. I love to blame things on the media. There are not many days in my life when I do not shake my fist at the media for something. But the thing I need to remember is that the media belongs to us, and the media that we have is a direct outcome of our actions. It is the how, when, and why we pay attention, and participate and purchase that gives us the media (and other institutions) that we have. I think the same dynamic applies to leadership. Our definition of leadership, our understanding, expectations and relationship to leadership all play a role in determining the outcome…the people that end up in leadership roles and they way that the embrace those roles.
I think that our current financial situation is to a large degree a failure of a way of leadership that is less and less relevant in an increasingly changing world.
I am reminded of one of my favorite Stephen Covey quotes:
“If you start to think the problem is “out there”, stop yourself. That thought is the problem.“
It is so easy for us to see the fault lying out there, with our elected officials or our boss. That can be much easier than owning our role.
So I agree we do need very much to evolve of our understanding of and our role as leaders…and part of that is evolving the role of followership, I think the whole relationship needs to be re-imagined. And each of us can play a role in this. And each of us can start right now. We do not need permission from anyone to begin this work.
We can each simply spend some time reflecting on some really big, powerful questions that help remind us of our own power, our own obligations and what we really can control (regardless of title).
1.) Who Am I and What Am I Here For?
2.) Am I Acting Accordingly Right Now?
These questions always help me to put down all the faults, problems and weaknesses I see “out there”, and take the next right action. That, I think, makes for good followership and good leadership.