With the faults of many governments of the world being exposed or highlighted through the troubles of the pandemic – and now the geopolitical troubles of Russia and Ukraine – we cannot help but wonder how we may have fared had these troubles arisen in previous years.
Would the leaders of yesteryear have handled things differently? In all probability, yes. Had we lived through these times under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, George WH Bush, Margaret Thatcher and Sheikh Jaber Al Sabah, it’s highly likely we would be experiencing them very differently.
We are currently experiencing a terrible rise in poverty, racism, and economic and educational imbalance, which is completely at odds with the huge progress we should be making in these areas considering our advanced resources and experience.
Perhaps, through more independently minded and strong leadership, we would be able to take the many resources at our disposal and work to restore order in ways that took care of citizens of our individual countries, as well as the harmony between them. So what is the difference between the leadership styles of today, and those of the 80s and 90s?
Our governments now seem to be more connected with each other and with global business interests than with their own people, and have displayed a willingness to act without accountability to those people. That is a huge problem when the citizens of those countries have elected leaders to work primarily for the people, to represent their nation’s culture, economies and growth.
Friendly international relations and trade must always be in place, but not at the expense of the wellbeing of individual nations. One factor in this situation could be global media and social media, which can be played to effectively to portray leaders in a certain light to give them a global appeal.
This can be dangerous, if leaders are playing to an international audience and marketing their actions to look good online, grandstanding globally rather than doing the less impressive but more vital work of ensuring their own house is in order and their own citizens are happy.
At the foundation of our disappointment in the leadership of today is a lack of love for their own countries which we, as family offices, feel deeply ourselves. We have generations of history tied to a single country, we identify so strongly with our own nations and we give back to them however we can, yet at the same time we foster international collaboration and seek good working relationships with other family offices around the world who are each as embedded in their own countries of origin.
To see our current leaders doing the same may make all the difference.