Examining the Crisis of the Leader - Follower Relationship in the Present Times

Historically Legendary Leaders and the Leadership Crisis of the Present Times

Leaders by definition are expected to inspire and motivate their followers to execute their mission and be transformed by their vision. Indeed, any textbook on leadership would explain how Leaders not only need to articulate their vision but also imbue their followers with a sense of mission.

Moreover, leaders are expected to lead from the front and by example wherein their high ethical and moral compass is like a Magnet to which their followers are attracted.

From times immemorial, leaders such as Ashoka, Gandhi, Nehru, and Ambedkar in India and Napoleon, JFK, and Martin Luther King and the Founding Fathers of the United States, were leaders whose legacy and teachings continue to this day.

Indeed, throughout history, we have examples of highly charismatic leaders who managed to galvanize their followers and make them accomplish very difficult and even seemingly impossible tasks.

Having said that, the present times have thrown up a Crisis of Leadership wherein world over, leaders are egging on their followers to be Fascist and Violent which really does not bode well for the future of the species.

Gone are inspirational and transformational leaders and what we now have are Authoritarian and Dictatorial Leaders who are running the world to the ground (literally as well as metaphorically).

Even in the business world, there has been a dearth of authentic leaders who can lead by example and instead, we have leaders who are setting a bad precedent to their followers.

The Symbiotic Relationship between the Leaders and their Followers and a New Narrative

Of course, one can very well say that leaders are shaped by their followers and vice versa and hence, it is a reflection of the times we live in that both parties are acting as though the wellness of the world does not matter.

As the saying goes, as is the King, and So are the Followers and as are the Followers, and so is the King, means that the two way Symbiotic Relationship and the Social Contract between the Leaders and their Followers has broken down.

Thus, what we need is a New Narrative and a Newer Form of Leader Follower Relationship wherein we once again make attempts to aspire to a Just and Prosperous not to leave out Peaceful world.

Some experts opine that the Internet and the Smartphone have engendered a Crisis of Leadership wherein the so-called leaders of the present times do not care much apart from their constant Social Media Buzz.

Ending the Present Crisis and Forging a New Narrative

Indeed, when the President of the Most Powerful Country of the World, Donald Trump himself lets out a Barrage of Hateful and often Patently Untrue Tweets, how can we expect his followers to be anything but violent and vituperative?

No wonder that most opinion polls conducted in the recent times reveal a longing for the Presidential Administration of the Former President, Barack Obama.

This is not a case in the US alone and even a cursory glance at the news from world over would reveal how contemporary leaders are anything but that and instead, they are Self Aggrandizing Despots whose only aim is to enrich themselves and their close circle of family and friends.

So, is this Crisis of Leadership the New Normal that is going to lead us into a New Dark Age?

Or, is this just a temporary blip in the Long Arc of History which bends towards Justice?

The answers to these questions lie in the messages that are being sent to the Millennial Generation which is expected to throw up the Leaders of the Future.

In other words, as this generation moves into leadership roles in Business and Politics, they must be provided with a Template of Leadership from all stakeholders.

As can be seen from the results of the recent Mid Term Elections in the United States, there are several young winners whose outlook towards their followers and the world is healthy and who once again speak of the hopeful future that awaits us all.

Catch Them Young and Watch Them Grow: The Earlier Generation Leaders and the Upcoming Leaders of Tomorrow

Indeed, the fact that these new generation of leaders are attempting to break ground on new ideas means that there must be more efforts to incubate more such leaders.

This responsibility is on those older generation leaders in business and politics who have now retired.

The slogan of Catch Them Young and Watch Them Grow should be the motto wherein well meaning and respected leaders of yesterday have the mission to inspire the Leaders of Tomorrow.

This is not only restricted to business or politics but must also extend to sports, entertainment, and civic fields of society.

The times that we live in are very challenging to the Leaders and hence, it must also be noted that as citizens, consumers, and taxpayers the larger society too has a role to play in electing leaders who are visionary and ethical and can serve as role models to them.

In other words, while leaders have a certain responsibility, even the followers must reciprocate and not expect Messianic Figures to emerge from nowhere.

Indeed, as the central theme of this article is about the crisis of Leader Follower Relationship, we would like to stress that as followers, we must do our bit to actualize a better world.

This is especially the case in the business world where the employees must believe in the vision of their leaders and act according to the mission of the latter.

To conclude, it takes two to Tango and hence, the present crisis of the leader follower relationship can be righted only when both parties rectify the broken relationship.


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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.


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