The Arab Spring

24 Feb 2011

For those of us involved in the work of leadership, in this most fascinating, inspiring, tragic and brutal happenings in the Arab World today, some simple but starks fact have are paramount; the World is a vastly different place today than it was even 5 years ago. People are increasingly simply not prepared to accept what their leaders tell them. And the age of do as I say, say as I do leadership is coming to a gradual close.

For that one can thank the huge rise of Facebook and other social media forums more than even the internet. When Time magazine awarded Mark Zuckerberg their "Man of the Year" just two months ago, no-one could have considered just how much of an influence and impact on the World the social media forum would soon have.

What is happening in the Arab World will be striking the fear of God into dictators, authoritarian rulers and absolute monarchies not just in the region but Worldwide. True, North Korea's Kim Jong II and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's iron fist and brutal rules may survive longer than Hosni Mubarak’s or Mahmoud Gaddafi’s. But their time will surely come too. And other Western Leaders in democracies who abuse their power are not immune to the facebook age either.

But far from the political stage, the Arab Spring raises questions of every leader or manager in the corporate World too. Workers increasingly no longer simply accept the word, order or direction of their leaders infinatum. Values, knowledge and aspirations have rapidly changed. Yes, employees want and demand food on their table; a job and enough to look after their families. But they also increasingly demand a purpose, to be the best version of themselves, to be valued and empowered. And this requires a far different and adaptable form of leadership than has been the norm for hundreds of years...... 

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