The Challenge for Contemporary Leaders is to Restore Trust and Faith in Institutions
Loss of Trust and Faith and the Rise of Populists
Public trust and faith in institutions is at an all time low. Starting with the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 in the United States and then the Sovereign Debt Crisis in Europe in 2009, including the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, and the election of President Trump as well as numerous populist leaders worldwide, the voters everywhere want an end to the status quo and to believe in their leaders and institutions.
In other words, once these crises struck, the average person on the street started losing faith and trust in bankers, governments, regulators, businesses, and leaders as they felt that the leaders were more interested in serving themselves rather than the voters and hence, they started gravitating towards populists who offered a way out, however specious and tenuous it was.
To take examples, the Brexit Vote was widely seen as a vote against the establishment as was the election of President Trump. Closer home, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, stormed to power on the back of his campaign promise of Acche Din, or Good Times, around the corner after decades of what the voters perceived as misrule and widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo.
Need for a New Narrative Instead of Broken Promises and Failed Leaders
Having said that, it is another case that these leaders were unable to deliver much after the initial euphoria and as surveys by reputed publications indicate, the faith, and trust of the people in institutions is declining and decreasing by the day.
Thus, there is a need for a new narrative and a new story from the leaders, whether they head corporates and businesses or whether they lead nations and states. Indeed, most experts agree that people do not trust businesses either especially in the wake of several scandals that have rocked the corporate sector in recent years.
What is more worrying is that even respected and reputable corporates are falling prey to unethical and questionable conduct as can be seen in the way businesses such as the TATA Group and Infosys have had to deal with a series of highly public quarrels related to corporate governance.
Indeed, when aspiring professionals and working ones as well see that their leaders are bending the rules for personal gains, they are tempted to do likewise leading to a vicious cycle of behavior that erodes trust and faith in the institutions. As the saying goes, as is the King, So are the People, and hence, there is a responsibility on the part of the leaders to spin a new narrative and to make people believe in institutions again.
The Fallacy of Believing in Messianic Leaders
At the same time, when we talk about new narratives and a new direction, we do not mean that a Messianic figure must emerge and lead the people towards redemption. Indeed, as the examples of leaders quoted earlier indicate, once voters entrust such leaders with all their hopes and aspirations, they burden them with unrealistic expectations which can only increase the pressure on such leaders with the outcomes often not matching the expectations.
Thus, while we certainly do not need Messianic leaders, we definitely need leaders who can at least Walk the Talk and be nuts and bolts in their execution. In other words, what leaders need to do to restore trust in institutions is that they must articulate a Vision and actualize a Mission so that their actions match their rhetoric and their behavior is in consonance with their words.
Some Contemporary Leaders who are Attempting Change
For instance, several young and Generation X (those in their late 30s and 40s now) leaders such as Emmanuel Macron of France and Justin Trudeau of Canada are exactly doing this when they promise their citizens of a better tomorrow and then go about implementing such promises in a realistic and time bound manner.
Indeed, most contemporary experts believe that the new generation of leaders who are emerging worldwide are more practical and transactional in their approach and at the same time, are also known for high sounding vision and flowing rhetoric.
Thus, their contention is that these leaders must be a given a chance to restore the legitimacy of institutions and to repair the broken trust and faith in institutions. Indeed, once people lose faith in democracy and capitalism, there would be anarchy as the rules based and liberal minded system that has been in place since the end of the Second World War breaks down leading to chaos all round.
This is what is happening in some Western and Asian countries where people fed up with the status quo and what they perceive as institutions that do not serve their interests, and only the interests of the elites, are taking to the streets and engaging in violent and destructive behavior which ultimately threatens the survival of the entire system itself.
The Way Ahead
Therefore, what we need are leaders who can start with a top down articulation of vision and then follow it up with a bottom up mission that embraces everyone in an all inclusive manner. For long, institutions have served the interests of the Top 1% alone and this is causing much stress and strain on the system as can be seen from the discussion so far.
While some of the suggestions in this article might seem unrealistic and too ideal, readers would no doubt agree with our description of what happens when such suggestions are not implemented as well as the examples of leaders who are actualizing change are concerned.
|❮❮ Previous||Next ❯❯|
Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
The article is Written By Prachi Juneja and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.
- Leadership - Introduction
- Importance of Leadership
- Role of a Leader
- Qualities of a Leader
- Leadership and Management
- Leader versus Manager
- Authority vs Leadership
- Leadership and Motivation
- Emotional Intelligence for Leaders
- Organizational Leadership
- Leadership Ethics
- Leadership Strategy
- Leadership Styles
- Personal Leadership Brand
- Level 5 Leadership
- Situational Leadership
- Situational Leadership and Motivation
- Leadership & Subordinate Development
- Leadership Development - Introduction
- Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
- Inside Leaders vs. Outside Leaders
- Transformational Leadership
- Leadership for the 21st Century
- The Transleader
- Three Traits of Effective Leadership
- Importance of Compassion in Leadership
- An Important Advice to Future Leaders
- Avoiding Focus on Quarterly Earnings
- Reinventing Management for 21st Century
- Ambidextrous Leadership
- Invest in Oneself
- Social Media Skills for Leaders
- Social Stratification and Hierarchy
- The Ethical Imperative
- Leadership in the Face of Adversity
- Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence
- Leadership Theories
- Blake and Moutons Managerial Grid
- Houses Path Goal Theory
- Great Man Theory
- Trait Theory
- LMX Theory
- Transformational Leadership
- Transactional Leadership
- Continuum of Leadership Behaviour
- Likerts Management System
- Hersey Blanchard Model
- Fiedlers Contingency Model
- Leadership and Trust
- How to be a Good Leader ?
- Effective Leadership Skills
- Leadership Vision
- Different Types of Power
- Women and Leadership
- What are the Challenges in Leadership ?
- Tips to Overcome Challenges in Leadership
- Role of Communication in Overcoming Leadership Challenges
- Role of Management/Organization in Overcoming Leadership Challenges
- Tips to Strengthen Bond Among Employees
- Vision of Leaders has to be Actualized by Middle Management for Organizational Success
- Leadership in the Time of Epic Changes and Struggles Over Ethics and Values
- Great Leadership is about Initiating, Sustaining, and Carrying through Ones Vision
- Cultural Dimensions of Leadership
- Scarcity vs. Abundant Mindsets in Leaders
- Different Folks, Different Strokes! The Many Leadership Styles in the Real World
- Persuasion and the Art of Changing Minds are Essential for Contemporary Leaders
- Managing in Chaos: A Necessary Skill for Managers and Leaders
- Leadership in the Contemporary World
- Need to Develop Network Thinking and Seventh Sense for Success in the 21st Century
- Why Do Some Business Leaders Attain Greatness Whereas Others Fail?
- Hands on Approach to Leadership: The Need for Leaders to be Good Administrators
- How Great Leaders Transform Organizations, Nations, Societies, and the World
- Why Business and Political Leaders Must be Institution Builders to Ensure Longevity
- Qualities of an Inspirational Leader and their Benefits
- Foundation Pillars of Successful Leaders
- Self Assessment for Leadership: Assessing the Strengths and Vulnerabilities for Improving Leadership Effectiveness
- Self Motivation for Leaders
- Techniques for Developing Self-Motivation
- Leadership Development Plan
- Writing a Leadership Development Plan
- When Hope Meets Reality: The Challenges for Leaders to Sustain the Momentum
- The Challenge for Contemporary Leaders is to Restore Trust and Faith in Institutions
- The Ever Shortening Business Cycles and What They Mean for Business Leaders
- Leadership Case Study: Steve Jobs - The Man Who Ushered in the Smartphone Revolution
- Why Leaders Must be in Control over the Direction and Pace of Organizational Change
- The 4Cs of Leadership Styles for Leadership in the Digital Age
- Lessons for Business Leaders from the Downfall of Charles Ghosn of Renault - Nissan
- Truly Great Leadership is All about Walking the Talk in All Aspects of Being Leaders
- Examining the Crisis of the Leader Follower Relationship in the Present Times
- How Great Leaders use a Mix of Micromanagement and Hands off Approaches
- Leadership during Crises is what Distinguishes Great Leaders from Manager Leaders
- What the Dalai Lama can teach Corporate Honchos about Leadership and Management
- Why we Need more Emotionally Intelligent Leaders and Managers in Chaotic Times
- Why the Digital Age Calls for a New Approach to Leadership and Team Management
- Business Leadership in the Age of Nationalism and Populism and the Rocky Road Ahead
- Leadership in a Collapsing World When Faced with Insurmountable Problems
- The Importance of Thought Leaders and Influencers in the Age of Social Media
- Leadership by Optics Management: Taking the Howdy Modi Event as a Case Study
- What Should Leaders do in Low Growth and Recessionary Times
- What Ails India Inc. and is it a Crisis of Leadership or a Structural Issue to be Addressed?
- The Tyranny of the Quarterly Results: Why Business Leaders must Avoid Short-Termism
- The Perils of Leaders and Their Personality Cults in Times of Authoritarian Rulers
- Leadership in the Digital Age and Why Contemporary Leaders Must Master These Skills
- Misdemeanours by Senior Leaders Must Be Handled Firmly and the Right Message Sent
- When Hope Meets Reality: Why Visionary Leaders Have to Balance Dreams with Realities
- Power as a Managerial Tool
- Why We Need More Self Aware and Less Self Centred Leaders, Who Can Self Evaluate