A crisis in leadership

In my book, The New Leadership Paradigm, I talked about the crisis in leadership. Although I was writing about business, the need for a new leadership paradigm clearly applies to politics as well; not just in the UK but also in the US. Let’s also not forget about the political crisis in Brazil.

What is being called forth in business and politics is a global paradigm shift. A shift from a world focused on fear and self-interest to a world focused on compassion and the common good. Such a shift would represent a shift from short-term thinking to long-term thinking; from “what’s in it for me” to “what’s best for everyone:” from being the “best in the world” to the “best for the world.”

Basically most of our political leaders have little integrity. They fan the fears of voters to make themselves seem important—not just the right-wing but the left-wing also: And, the current form of combative democracy supports them. What happened to dialogue based on “truth.” What happened to giving due consideration to our future generations.


Let’s face it most politicians care little for the truth. They focus only on the short-term and the messages that will get them elected and then re-elected. Once they are in power, they change their tune and deny what they stood for. They dodge and weave to keep themselves popular. That’s because they live and breathe self-interest. Watch the debates in Parliament or Congress if you want to see pure self-interest in action: All the energy goes into scoring points by putting down the opposition. If all this energy went into constructive dialogue we might be able to respect our politicians.

When are things going to change? When will we see a shift to a higher level of consciousness where integrity, intelligence and compassion rule?

In Love, Fear and the Destiny of Nations, I plotted the level of fear in a nation against the level of democracy. Fear-driven nations are the most authoritarian. Compassion-driven nations are the most democratic. In the UK and the US our politicians are taking us in the wrong direction. They are fanning the flames of fear to meet their own ends. They are leading us backwards in history, not forwards. It takes courage to move forward with integrity. When the going gets tough, only fear-driven cowards retreat.