Has the Standard for Leadership Slipped?

In the news we often are told that our political and business leaders are lying to us, stealing from us or simply ignoring the basic human values which are important for maintaining human society.  This in turn, has created a feeling that 'leaders' are not to be trusted as they can abuse power and become ego-maniacs.  

In Australia, it seems we have a love-hate relationship with leaders: we expect them to fix our problems but are quick to blame them when they don't or when they step out of line.  How can we develop more caring, ethical and civic-minded leaders in all spheres of society while becoming more forgiving of leader's faults?

Leaders are human and as humans, they are prone to weaknesses just like the rest of us.  However, I believe that anyone who seeks to step into a position of leadership should consider committing to these principles.

  • You are a model of honesty and integrity and are willing to state when you've made a mistake.
  • You are committed to ethicial behaviour and communication.
  • You are willing to be evaluated by your peers in terms of your ability to live these principles.
Perhaps this seems too idealistic at first glance.  However, why do we feel that people can't live up to a higher ethical life?  I believe that the standard for our leaders, as well as ourselves, should be raised.  The reason we may not hold our leaders to a higher standard is that we are not holding ourselves to one.  Try being a leader yourself and you might just become a great role model for your family, your business and your community.