Leadership is being sought… and what is being sought is changing

One of the arguments over the impact of social media is that it heightens the importance of role models and cult personalities: that it leads and influences people more than it should. However, there is another perspective – that the face of leadership is simply changing and people have simply been seeking to find leadership that they can trust and offer a vision that they can buy into.

By Chris Sheppardson, Managing Director, EP

Are role models today any more powerful than they were in the past? Which role models inspire you today?

I suspect few do.

In the past the dominant forces in society were those that have lost trust in today’s society – the church, the family doctor, the family lawyer, business leaders, and politicians – they have all lost influence. One of the dangers is when there is an absence of trusted leadership in any society and then naturally there issues that arise.

It is all natural. In a conference last year, it was noted that when Athens was enduring its darkest times of economic woe, it was the citizens that came together to create new solutions, tidy the litter and streets. The same, it is argued is happening in the U.S for as the National Government loses trust so people have turned to local politics with a renewed energy. We have yet to see how Brexit impacts – will the argument for sovereignty (an argument that would have been fiercely supported and protected in past times) defeat the desire for a more united global and international agenda?

This text has no political agenda but one of the fascinations over the last two weeks is how the PM’s stock has risen due to her strength of character rather than the strength of her argument which many, even today, do not fully understand. People want leadership but what really inspires people today is a bigger and broader agenda – one that stands form more than an end to the age of austerity but to environmental and social change.

Tomorrow’s leaders in society are those that seek to be more – those that work tirelessly on social innovation.

Things are changing and there is a desire to see real leadership come to the fore, leadership that offers a new vision for the future and one that really is committed to social innovation both locally and globally. For business to find trust again it does need to engage in a new vision. Same for Politics.