January 16, 2018

Are you condemning yourself to be wrong?

Margaret Thatcher and Tony BlairWe see it as all or nothing with political leaders, and others too for that matter. If there’s something we dislike about them or what they’ve done, we’re inclined to dismiss everything about them.

Nice and tidy, but a mistake.

Because some of what everyone does is right—even the most extreme people you can think of.

If we do the opposite, we are almost bound to be wrong some of the time.

Dismiss everything about someone, and we’re left with only the alternative, on every point.

Best to notice what is right, even amongst what is wrong.

Is slow adaptation the price we pay for democracy?

High Street sceneIn the West in particular, we believe in democracy, almost without thinking, but is it being abused?

You see…

When we elect a leader, we need them to lead, even if, in fact, we don’t like the consequences for us very much. That’s their job – to lead. That’s what we put them there for, not to spend their time working on getting re-elected.

But are we complicit? When the time comes to re-elect, do we reward the strong leader, or the politician who tells us it’s all going to be OK (when we suspect it isn’t)?

Modern political leaders often don’t seem to truly lead. They conceal uncomfortable truths. They are obsessed with opinion polls. They duck the tough decisions that we might say it’s their duty to take. They push the problems down the road, as the challenges all the while get more serious. Witness the Eurozone, Rio, public debt, and more.

And so problems don’t get handled.

Is the price we pay for democracy slow adaptation to change and weak response to crises?

How could it be different?

And is it a bit like this in organizations?

Do you take the tough decisions you need to take?