Leadership in Turmoil!

Les Brown says : “Evil prevails when good men and women do nothing!”…and Evil is winning right now as our Leadership is failing worldwide!

Do you know what the most valuable component of Leadership is?…It’s not power, position, influence, management skills, Intellectual or academic achievement…no,….it is Character!

Character is the most powerful force a leader can cultivate because it protects Leadership; It will enable you to be a success personally and professionally as you pursue your life’s purpose.

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you work or what you do, as our Toastmasters president so eloquently mentioned some months ago, we are all leaders, especially of ourselves!

In every country around the world we have leaders, as well as aspiring leaders, in all 7 spheres of influence. … All skilled individuals, yet most fall short or lack altogether in that all important element of Character.

This has caused leaders to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons; Scandals, theft, extortion, cheating, unlawful practices and the list goes on. On top of that there are many others in leadership positions who are incompetent, too busy trying to destroy business competitors or fighting political opponents rather than collaborating with them to work on solutions and improve the state of our countries.

We look up to leaders in all walks of life and many are also role models to our children. That’s why it’s worrying to read and hear revelations in the media about their moral standards letting them, and all those influenced by them, down on a near daily basis; Ethical controversies, sexual scandals, criminal activities, Financial irregularities, substance abuse…this long list does not leave any area undamaged, from Politics to business, sports, religion, family, arts & media, and entertainment……

This all illustrates 3 realities:

  1. Character challenges are wide spread
  2. These Challenges often hurt innocent people
  3. Regardless of the achievements, talents, skills, amount of money or level of success reached, when you show a deficiency in your character, there’s no guarantee you’ll remain at the top or that you won’t pay a huge price.

Most of these examples might make you think of great leaders in society but I am sure we all know people who have fallen or suffered due to affairs, alcohol or drug abuse, gambling debts, financial mismanagement, violent or sexual abuse or any other destructive behaviours.

Is it no wonder then that the general public is skeptical whenever they hear about success? Don’t we ask ourselves, if a winner in sport used any performance enhancing substances or question how honest, ethical and above board the practices of a successful business are?

What has happened???

Why is a lack of character so prevalent in today’s leaders?

Most leaders in our organizations have never been taught how important a part Character plays in leadership. It was always about working with and managing, resources and others, never about managing ourselves; How to understand and improve ourselves, How to better understand our values and principles and How to work on growth in all areas of our own lives!

The nations of the world don’t lack people in leadership but they lack genuine leadership in their people. Yes, we do have highly skilled, well-groomed, top-level leaders who are also competent communicators but this lack of character has caused an epidemic from government leaders and CEOs to directors, clergy, parents and spouses.

Is this then why so many people were afraid when the Late Nelson Mandela became ill?…Because he was one of the very few great Leaders in the world who had tremendous character, and people, not just in South Africa but around the world, realized, we just could not afford to lose such a giant and powerful example of character based leadership!!!

There is a growing distrust of authority which has lead to disillusionment at every level of society; Amongst our different generations, within our governments, our churches, our businesses our schools and even within the walls of our own homes, we lack trust, communication and a real team spirit. This has allowed our basic values to fall over like dominoes.

…And that’s why the ultimate pursuit of a leader should be character, not skill, power, influence or anything else.

Character unfortunately, has become like a lost treasure in today’s world and it is up to us to restore this in our culture. How? By reintroducing an awareness of basic Values such as Trust, Honesty and Respect into every level of our society and encourage its continuous sustainable development. The power of a solid leadership foundation built on values must be taught in Governments, boardrooms, classrooms and in dining rooms and this needs to be our top priority because doing nothing about this Global crisis is no longer an option..…

Transformation begins with ME!….Therefor, we must all take responsibility for this character crisis in the world today as we are all part of the problem, and it’s about time we all became part of the solution!… Yes it’s time to dust ourselves off and start a new journey of leadership from a position of strength, resolve and honour!

…And the only way that we will move to a future with strong ethical leaders at every level, will be by raising awareness in those Values, principles and ethics. We need real leaders to lead our families, our institutions, our corporations and our nations with examples that inspire us to leave a positive and lasting legacy for generations to come.

What will you do? What changes would you like to see in your family, in your organization and indeed in your country?……As Gandhi so simply stated all those years ago:

“Be the change you want to see in the world”