Tell me who's your leader, to tell you who you are!?
Latest studies on role models and leadership show en epic detachment of people versus anything that relates to Romanian authorities. The trust on the political class is around 9%, occupying the last place, whereas mass-media precedes politics with a trust of 12%. The data prove that, while the Trust in myself indicator increased to almost 70%, followed by my family and friends, the confidence on everything that happens on the world above the borders of people personal circle of confidence dropped significantly
As people are explaining these data "you know, it is not Romanians, it is not the people, we are good people and we want harmony and progress. It is Romania and its structures that are blocking us from meeting our potential". This argument reflects also in the nature of current emigration wave - it is not the mainstream people that are leaving abroad to make more money (you can make money in Romania as well). It is an emigration of professional that lost hope this country will ever be lead towards becoming their dream country. It is not a negative emigration, people do not leave because they "hate" Romania; it is an exhaustion emigration triggered by the lack of perspectives on the vision of the country.
Coming to this, we get to the meaning of leadership for Romanians. Unfortunately we have had through history lots of major turnarounds being seated at the edge of Europe, neighbouring Russia and being under communism so many years. Even if the nature of Romanians is explorative and creative, they had to adapt to the rigours and pressure of communism which eroded the trust in others, in general. Therefore the relationship with authorities became marked by fear, mistrust and unfairness (especially when people do not mirror with pride in their leader). People started to associate leadership with power over people rather than responsibility for the people. And that created a long search for models within a chaotic value system which marked the years after revolution until today, when we register the lowest trust ever.
Unfortunately, in România we haven't had any relevant leadership all these years, after the revolution in 1989. There have been a lot of wasted years. Every time people decided the new alternative of leading the country is actually the saviour, they ended up disappointed, as the leader proved to rather follow his own agenda than the interest of the people. Every time people opted democratically for someone to lead them through, they were hoping for a country vision, for the people, in the service of the people. This vision was never clear to them. after years of dissolution, the hope for better authorities is the lowest it can be at the moment
Moreover, people lack moral references, like any leader should have, and which builds the base for trusting someone. In the last 30 years +something the country was split between populist politicians – using their charm and popular promises to win the vote and, once getting the power, ending up following their own agenda and generating conflict - and elitist leaders - promising competence and "job well done", but lacking social intelligence and the ability to build connections which is so fertile for building trust. Lack of communication, conflict, blaming the others, arrogance becomes, in such a context, almost as dangerous and disappointing as manipulative populist leadership.
When talking about the ideal leadership people today are more aware of what they need but lack tangible solutions. Moreover, they lack hope that someone magic will arrive out of the blue and take the lead. At least they know what they expect: morals, being in people's service, responsibility, vision and empathy (being able to connect in an authentic manner with people). It is not enough to be smart for yourself, it is important to put your intelligence in the service of the people and lead their way. it is not enough to have a good idea, you need to know how to share it so as to engage people. Being all alone and in conflict will never produce expected results. this is how lots of good plans and magnificent ideas end up being wasted
We were listening at some point to someone saying the the drama of the Romanian elite is that within this selected circle everybody feels neglected, overlooked, unacknowledged. While this feeling is growing it transforms in a frustration, then trauma, then noxious behaviour. As a consequence, very often Romanian elites position themselves in conflict versus others like them, trying to demonstrate who's smarter, rather than value the power of sharing knowledge for serving people. This is rather an indication of the fact that the leadership crisis in Romania is a very complex matrix in which everybody plays a role and while we are working on improving our social intelligence things might find its way towards a consistent country vision, aligned to the potential of the people.
Until then, let's think about it. Leadership is power over people or responsibility for the people? Or both working in harmony? Is that enough or is it more? Is it business skills, vision, empathy, generosity, social intelligence, moral values? What is it? Hope we will find out soon, with real life examples.