The word 'dominoes' springs to mind with the current almost daily trend for leaders exiting public roles due to allegations of misconduct. Other leadership issues have surfaced with the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Pope's recent decision to step down from office. Leadership is a hot topic. Who is fit and who is no longer 'fit' to lead?
Edwin Friedman, (d. 2007), Rabbi, family therapist and leadership mentor, wrote A Failure of Nerve, Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix (1999) in which he ruthlessly exposes what he calls the habits of 'chronically anxious and regressive' societies. Powerful emotional drivers which cut across race, class and other socially constructed frameworks, are at work, which sabotage leadership. We are over reliant on expertise and data; we think empathy will solve all relational problems and we think anything to do with 'self' is by definition 'selfish'. The reality is that technology will never be sufficient to address the moral issues of leadership; empathy is ineffective in the face of chronic societal dysfunction and attention to the 'individuation' of 'self' is crucial for leaders who want to escape the emotional entanglement of inward looking systems.
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Was Jesus a model of a perfect leader? 'Servant leadership' is a term much bandied about in the church, but should you 'serve' an abusive member of a group, or expose them? Are the abusers examples of 'weak' or 'powerful' people in society?
Perhaps Jesus used his wilderness experience to face the possibility of all the ways he might have chosen to lead, ending up with choosing the 'weakness' of the cross, which turned out, or course, to be its power.