Leadership needed to avoid Doomsday

March 16, 2011 at 7:12 am Leave a comment

A basic requirement for good

leadership

By RALPH DOBRIN

Excerpts from his book “How to avoid Armageddon”

Available through Amazon

Click: http://www.amazon.com type: how to avoid armageddon

“The presidency is not merely an administrative office. It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

While humanity has progressed sensationally within little more than a century, from the horse-drawn wagon, sailing ships and the icky need for chamber pots, to outer space travel and multi-gigabyte iPods, it is still in the clutch of attitudes and procedures in decision-making that are as arbitrary, foolish and often as disastrous as during the Dark Ages.

Even though there are intelligent, educated, very competent business managers, top government officials, ministers and heads of state who frequently make wise decisions, there are all too many people all over the world, at top executive levels who keep making silly mistakes on every conceivable subject, that plunge whole regions into political unrest, economic turmoil and terrible wars, causing misery to millions of people. The two main causes of these mistakes are faulty procedures in decision-making and plain dishonesty. Often the two go together.

Wise decision-making demands a procedure that starts with the candid recognition and objective defining of an issue and problem. At every stage from beginning to absolute end, the keyword must be honesty and truthfulness by all involved. Only then can there be any possibility of reaching wise decisions.

But honesty and truthfulness have little chance of prevailing when issues of the ego dominate any administrative procedure. In such cases, integrity contending with intrigue, will usually lose out. In many regions religious dogma, bigotry and superstition lead to decisions based on narrow sectarian interests, selective omission of relevant facts and blatant falsehood, often with dreadful consequences.

Even though democracy has released a large part of humanity from serfdom and given citizens more freedom of movement and expression than ever before, nevertheless the right to vote for our leaders and representatives in national and local government has not freed us from the ravages of silly administrative decisions. This is not only because humanity still hasn’t learnt the real meaning of truthfulness, but also because the world has become an infinitely more complex place to govern. Populations are far larger. Problems often come in a more devastating scale than ever before. Events and developments move at a much faster pace. Politicians and public officials barely manage to understand yesterday’s problems when today’s issues call for immediate solutions. Democratic governments of today are often far less stable than before. Coalition politics necessitate compromise that leads to bungling policy. But humanity can’t wait for better overall governance and we certainly can’t afford to allow the bungling to continue. In order to contend with the problems of the present and the future, we need to emphasize what everybody’s always known. It’s a jaded cliché, but never been more appropriate: honesty really is the best policy.

All this needs to be clearly remembered, as wise, efficient leadership and government have become more important than ever before. It is quite likely that we will need to devise new systems of administration. Democratic systems, as they are variously practiced in different countries in the world – where freedom of expression and general franchise exist – are nevertheless too flawed to provide the type of top-level governance that is imperative in today’s increasingly complex world. The various systems of checks and balances that were put in place to prevent the abuse of power, have also prevented the optimum use of power and have turned parliaments into arenas for playing political games at society’s expense. In most democratic systems an inordinate amount of time is spent on playing the old children’s game “I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal!” For much of the final year in the term of most parliaments, a major consideration is the coming year’s election campaign. Real leadership is impossible under such circumstances. Politicians need to be honest about the undesirability of such a situation and work for thorough change, even though changing governmental procedures, structures and election systems might jeopardize the political careers of many public officials.

Politicians and the public in democratic societies everywhere need to find ways to avoid the pernicious effects of constant power struggles in government and the stifling constraints of coalition politics, while providing a maximum of liberty with a minimum of centralized control over our individual lives, and at the same time ensuring general well-being, fairness for all, social and physical security and sensible planning for the future.

Only truthfulness on a much more universal scale will enable forming such systems of governance, which will need to be tailored for the particular needs of each country.

The general population in each country can help bring this about, by demanding a far higher level of integrity from politicians and public officials at all levels, from the clerk at a branch office to the highest executive of the country. There should be zero tolerance for dishonesty. But first the public must demand this level of integrity from itself. We are talking about a widespread political revolution, a historic development equal in beneficence to the Magna Carta or the American Declaration of Independence.

To order “How to avoid Armageddon” click: http://www.amazon.com type: how to avoid Armageddon

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, How to avoid Armageddon, In order to survive, Things not mentioned in the press. Tags: , , , , , , .

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