Overwhelming is the evidence that perception management campaigns have been unleashed to dismantle international democracies and associated governmental institutions. The headlines offer a peek at some of the strategies: directed mass and social media efforts to discredit and dismantle; deliberate, vindictive attacks of mass media; election interference; politically inspired chaos, violence, distractions and divisiveness; loss of truth to power; deception, fake news and lies; emergence of fringe political organizations; and undermining international coalitions. An analytical glance establishes the least common denominator to be nothing more than a manifestation of our individual and collective human condition. Consequently, we need to have leaders who are students of the human condition and leadership and who have a track record of leadership successes with measureable accountabilities.
LEADERSHIP: Leadership is an earned, trust based, influence relationship between the respective leader, other leaders and followers who intend ethical changes that mirror common purpose. Good leaders are humble and simple; and have tasted freedom, authentic joy and wholeness, yet have experienced that the human condition demands growing awareness and personal development coupled with a felt need to help others. Some key accountabilities for leaders are as follows:
- ETHICS, MORALS, VALUES and PRINCIPLES: The art of being a good person, practicing goodness in everyday life, making good moral judgments; and it includes all ways of being truthful, authentic, caring and courageous that constitutes integrity: coupling intentions, promises and commitments with actions and behavior. Ethical persons “walk the talk” and model the way as persons; in relationships; and when skillfully helping and supporting others. Good leaders provide clarity about institutional values and beliefs and behave consistently with these values and beliefs.
- Values: Trust and trusted; integrity; direct; open; honest; caring; compassionate; moral; joy; hope; peace-of-mind
- Principles: Does not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do. Objective, not self-serving and acts in the best interests of the people and organization being served. Committed to the concept of 100% responsibility: life happens because of me and not to me. Does not blame others, learns from one’s own experiences in an intentional and self-directed manner and applies that learning to new challenges. Sets a good example for physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity, spiritual awakening, ethical behavior and integration of hidden, denied and repressed reflections manifested in the world.
- STRATEGIC VISION: Creates and communicates vision, strategies and direction for the organization and persons led. Articulates a worldview for the Nation and the globe.
- MISSION-PURPOSE-RESULTS DRIVEN: Peace-of-mind with purpose and connections built on a foundation of compassion. Has a bias for action, for trying new things and for getting things done. Aggressively pursues objectives and sets high standards for self and others. Takes calculated risks and makes personal sacrifices in order to get things done.
- FINANCIAL SAVY: Plans, communicates, monitors and controls, establishes risks, solves problems and makes sound decisions concerning economic and financial performance.
- STAFFING and STAFF DEVELOPMENT: Attracts and selects people with innate talents and learned skills. Assesses the short and long-term needs of the institution and develops plans to improve the overall structure and talent and skills strength of the institution.
- QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS and INFLUENCE: Develops, uses and sustains strong, cooperative relationships with persons. Uses effective listening and interpersonal skills to achieve mutual trust and respect. Accomplishes tasks and objectives by resolving conflicts and influencing the actions of others. Is seen as a change agent; and makes a difference when involved.
- COMMUNICATIONS and TECHNOLOGY MASTER: Simply keeps persons informed and creates communication forums and diverse coalitions to give and receive information and ethically manage perceptions. The spectrum of communication expertise: intrapersonal, interpersonal, person-to-persons, mass media, social media and associated technologies that exploit communication needs and strategies.
- BUSINESS and POLITICAL SAVY: Has a worldview perspective, is aware and understands the implications of changes in the globe. Has “street smarts,” sizes-up situations quickly, is practical, knows the right things to do and when to do them.
- TEAM LEADERSHIP: Achieves results by motivating and inspiring a winning team. Builds commitment to common goals by communicating a sense of mission and by energizing the team. Creates an environment where differences are valued, where systems work equally well for all and wherein persons can retain their uniqueness and contribute at their full potential.
- EXECUTIVE MATURITY: Acts appropriately in business, social and political situations. Displays control in complex, ambiguous or stressful situations. Identifies with persons, shares their values and beliefs and is comfortable with them. Works toward mutually carved-out, worldview goals.
- HUMAN NEEDS SATISFACTION: Is “in-tune” with mental and emotional needs of others, cares about people and puts action plans in-place to create an environment to improve the quality of life and personal productivity that is beneficial for persons. Links recognition to accomplishment and shows appreciation and expresses pride in the team’s accomplishments.
- HANDLING COMPLEXITY: Analyzes and solves complex problems. Deals effectively with large amounts of data, changing conditions, incomplete data or uncertainty. Understands how seemingly unrelated issues interact and affect one another. Gets to the essence of complex issues quickly, generates a variety of alternative courses of action and makes effective decisions.
- IDEA LEADERSHIP: Implements breakthrough and innovative ideas, programs and processes that make a genuine difference.
Individuals matter, leaders matter and leadership matters. If democracy is to prevail, we must select good leaders and hold them accountable for high quality leadership!! The evolution imperative of wholeness and inspired, growing awareness of the human condition, coupled with helping others, can change the daily headlines from an underlying sense of fear and domination to love and freedom. Yes! Leaders can be selected and held accountable to create a vibrant civil society where people continue to be free, to live as they choose, to speak their minds, to organize peacefully and to have a say in how they are governed.