Privileged access to information. People naturally look for direction from someone they perceive to be in possession of more information about an evolving situation. It used to be that leaders were in a unique position to gain information, and to dole it out on a need-to-know basis. Now the world is awash in instantly accessible information of all types and on all subjects. Human beings making ground-level observations can communicate them directly to others either around the globe or around the corner, while they walk down the sidewalk of an urban neighborhood or the dirt path of a remote jungle.
Broadly shared foundational principles. One other foundation of leadership that used to be firmly in place seems shaken today: a common understanding of the age-tested principles, religious or moral, that should guide decisions. Leaders may be yet another victim of the move away from the teaching and practice of moral values and their integration in early family life. Interpersonal relations patterns start early and are almost impossible to change; taking a graduate school class in ethics may be too late for someone who has not had good character modeled for them and required of them from early childhood. Much is said today about the diminution of the "actions have consequences" school of hard knocks that may have built the best leaders.
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by James S. Rosebush