Consider the facts. In the past forty years there has been an explosion of leadership programmes, courses, institutes and studies….At the same time, respect for leaders has fallen to an unprecedented low. In 2011 only 15 per cent of Americans expressed trust in the government to do what is right most of the time, down from almost 70 per cent in the 1960s. 77 per cent said they believed that the United States has a leadership crisis. Sharp declines in confidence can be traced, sector by sector, in leadership in politics, business, finance, the media, sports, education and faith-based organisations. A mere 7 per cent of American corporate employees trust their employers to be both honest and competent.
Something large is happening, not just in America but throughout much of the world. Kellerman traces it to three factors. First is the long, historic march to toward ever-greater democracy. Second is the collapse of traditional authority structures within the family that took place in the West in the 1960s, sending ripples throughout society in the form of “the death of deference.” Third is the impact of instantaneous global communication and social networking that has led to the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street movement, Wikileaks and other assaults on the citadels of power. In the hyper-democracy of cyberspace, everyone has a voice, all the time.