Imagine if Greek political and economic leaders had made adjustments to their social service programs prior to entering the crisis stage.A forward thinking leader willing to accept the political fallout of such rebalancing might have created drastically different outcomes for Greece and the rest of Europe.
The onus lies on leaders to drive this new paradigm, valuing integrity at the core.
Just as we need to reemphasize these core leadership values, we also need a reevaluation of who our leaders are.
Solving the current European and global economic situations require courageous leaders who are willing to sacrifice poll-numbers for the overall well-being of the economy. The international monetary system was based on the belief that no nation can achieve success alone; through collaboration, comparative advantage can be attained.
Leaders and participants must be willing to discard the traditional notion that economic activity is zero-sum and instead be open to new ideas and executing new approaches.
The failure at the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round, wherein leaders from the developed and developing world attempt to lower trade barriers and increase economic efficiency, acutely demonstrates this need.
Leaders must be willing to understand the importance of reciprocity and approach all situations with empathy. Leaders must consider other islands as they interact with one another.
While some seniors may not have understood the importance of such measures, Greece’s economic status in European markets necessitated this move by leaders.
Greek officials had little choice in the matter and faced a grim future if they failed to comply.
Leaders are now pressed to do more with less, balance national interest with their responsibilities as members of the global community, and achieve short-term results while making long-term investments.
The solution to these tensions lies in three fundamental core leadership values: courage, open-mindedness and integrity.