Whatever happened to leadership? Have all the great leaders gone from the world scene? Are leaders born, or do they emerge in appropriate circumstances?
A few years ago the London Sunday Times ran an article with the title “Whatever Happened to Real Leaders?” It read in part: “The foreign secretary was a stuffed shirt. But the prime minister was not even that: ‘he was just a hole in the air.’ The words are George Orwell’s, applied to Lord Halifax and Stanley Baldwin, in the late 1930s. What resonance they have today! . . . What the country needs is leadership, and this is true of the Western world as a whole.”
The article continued, “The gap between the desirable and the real has never been as great in this respect. As you open the newspapers or watch the television news, is there a single political leader in the West whose words you would expect to remember? Would you expect to learn anything from them? Do you expect them to do anything inspiring or creative, or even just the right thing? We have reached a real low point in leadership, lower than at any other time in recent history. . . . ‘I sowed dragons, and I reaped fleas,’ said Nietzsche.” It’s a powerful plea for the kind of leadership that can deliver humanity from the grip of its many problems and evils.