Professor Pierre Casse, Moscow School of Management-Skolkovo Professor Melita Rant, IEDC Bled School of Business
A word of caution!
This article is born not only from the meeting of two minds but also out of the frustration experienced by the two writers (academics) during and after the major crisis that started in 2009.Disappointed and shocked by the leadership of the top Decision Makers of the world as well as by their behaviours, both writers decided to reflect on the situation and examine what could be learned from the so called crisis. There is no question that the ideas presented hereunder are based on some synergistic thinking but also on some very strong emotions
The article is not about the truth (who has it? Who knows it?). It is about the need to transform the major issues that we are facing at the beginning at the 21st century into something positive It tries to outline a new leadership requirement characterised by the ability of the Public and Private sectors leaders to have a good grasp of what’s happening in the world today, why it is happening and, more important, how it can serve our purpose as human beings The ideas are sometimes extreme and provocative (some of them are loaded with emotions). They aim at triggering not only a better awareness of what we are facing but also the beginning of some leadership blueprints for the future
Not easy for sure and yet indispensable!
P.Casse and M. Rant
“My main role is to create leaders not followers” (Tunç Cerrahoglu. BU Russia President of Sun Inbev)
Leadership is about creating leaders (not followers). It is about pushing potential leaders forward. The “old” view is that people willingly follow the accepted leaders because of their ideas, energy and above all because of their attitude towards them. Well, today the partnership between people and their leaders is more based on RECIPROCITY than anything else: “I am ready to go with you but show me first what’s in it for me!” Leadership is a complex process of interpersonal valuation in which credit for leading others are earned in the eyes of followers. But followers attribute that credit if they believe in the 1
leader’s intentions and only if they see the expected consequences as valuable for them. And what is good for followers depends on their value system (again “What’s in it for me”). It is getting more and more obvious today that the concept of the followers has evolved and that old approaches to leadership (i.e. leaders know best what’s good for the followers) do not work anymore.
The Leadership Crisis
Nowadays, people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. (Oscar Wilde, 18541900, Anglo-Irish dramatist and poet)
What do we value in others that we are willing t o unquestionably follow? And how come that people are less and less willing to give credit to their leaders, either in the public or private sectors? Why people do not believe in what they say? Why is the lack of respect in leaders so widespread phenomena today? Why don’t we want to follow our leaders willingly?
One key answer seems to be: TRUST. Trust is psychological state of accepting vulnerability based upon positive expectations of intentions and behaviours of the leaders (Weber et al., 2006, pp. 37). When judging trustfulness of leaders people are mainly concerned about two things: are the leaders credible (“Do we believe them”?) and reliable (“Do they deliver on their promises”?). There is evidence that many leaders today are short on both! Leaders use corporations and other institutions as ingenious device for money-making and power gaining. Money and power are gold which justify leaders’ success! But although gold is precious, when it gets into the eyes, it obstructs the vision. Majority of today’s leaders are blindfolded and incapable of seeing the tensions they are creating. Hence, many leaders have not seen the coming economic...