Our house is on fire! Immediately, I called our Fire Department. They asked me whether I was insured against house fires. Yes, I told them, please come and extinguish this fire! Then they asked how many fire extinguishers I had installed in the house. I answered desperately: “Three, but why don’t you come to put out the fire that is rapidly extending throughout my home?” The response was agonizing: “You know that you should have four extinguishers in your house. So please, fix this first, make sure your neighbors help you, and then and only then we may come to help you extinguish the fire.”
This is how I feel about today’s political leadership – or the lack of it. It has been my passion for many years to train and coach managers on both result-orientation and people-orientation. The preferred combination of inspirational (result-orientation) and coaching (people-orientation) styles of leadership is often referred to as either transformational, or charismatic leadership. Today’s leaders – and not only within the political arena – lack this type of leadership. It is this type of leadership that helps develop people to achieve more than they themselves held possible. It is this type of leadership that achieves more results than expected: 30-40 percent better results in terms of output, revenue, profit, innovation, durability, or peace. Today’s leaders – mostly testosterone-driven – lack this type of leadership.
This is why – after seeing this heartbreaking picture of Aylan Kurdi (3 yrs) on the beach of Bodrun – I accuse all leaders of today’s world for their lack of leadership. There is no orientation on result, for example peace in the Middle East. There is no orientation on people, for example, the inhuman way of trying to stop refugees from getting into our peaceful European Union.
I accuse President Bashar Al-Assad (Syria), President Vladimir Putin (Russia), and Chairman Xi Jinping (China) for their lack of leadership. I accuse President Barack Obama (USA), Prime Minister David Cameron (UK), and President François Hollande (France) for their lack of leadership. I accuse Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Saudi Arabia), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel), and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkey) for their lack of leadership. I accuse President Donald Tusk (European Union), Prime Minister Marc Rutte (Netherlands), and Dutch Labour Party “leader” Diederik Samsom for their lack of leadership.
And there are many more so-called “leaders” who score high on yielding, withdrawn, distrustful, or authoritarian leadership styles. These leaders hide behind meetings and rules. Notice that all these leaders are men. Notice that a substantial part of these “leaders” combine being “Mister-Know-It-All” with testosterone which potentially leads to Narcism. The world is on fire, and we are being led by Narcists. Mon dieu, mon dieu, ayez pitié de moi et ma pauvre people…
That’s why I call upon all our women and girls around the world to take the lead.
Men cannot do this alone. Men demonstrate clearly, almost on a daily basis, that they are neither capable nor competent to extinguish the fire. Men meet, and talk, and talk without listening to the crowds. The crowds do not need talks, they desperately need our help. They need our leadership. Please, women and girls, take the lead. With your relational and emotional leadership capabilities, along with your will to achieve human goals, women will outperform men, and help these refugees, instead of seeing them beach ashore – dead.
Our house is on fire – act upon it! Go girls go, only you can make the difference.