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#3DVU Leadership Crisis. Episode 1128 min read

According to the World Health Organization director General the lack of leadership from global powers has prolonged the coronavirus pandemic, in this episode, we explore what leadership is, what a leader looks like, and where to start a change.

Transcript of Episode 11

LaMondre Pough:  Welcome to 3DVU, one conversation, three different perspectives. I’m LaMondre Pough.

David Pérez: I am David Perez.

Richard Streitz: And I am Richard Streitz. Thank you for joining us.

David Pérez: Recently in October 12th, we, we saw a message from the director general of the World Health Organization. He was saying something that, that really clicked with us and that sparked this conversation that we’re going to have today.

He was saying a lack of leadership from global powers has prolonged the coronavirus pandemic. And we all know that leadership has been a problem. I know that it has been in Latin America. It has been in the US it has been in, basically around the world. And doing some research about this topic I found some staggering data.

It happens that Gallup did a survey among different companies in 2016, and they found that only 16% of managers were, had the skills to actually manage. That means that 82% of the people that were in positions of power didn’t have the desirable skills to manage the people that they were trying to lead.

So that means that what we’re seeing now is just like the, the, the illness coming in full form, something that has been brewing for a while is just something that we’re realizing now that if you don’t have leadership, you really don’t have a way to get out of a crisis. Because being a leader when everything’s okay,

when everything’s fine, when you’re doing great. It’s very simple, right? It’s, it’s really all about not messing things up. And you could say that the fact that the stock markets were going up, all of, of Trump’s term, were basically because of that, things were okay. Things were fine, but as soon as things got bad, you could see him scrambling, not knowing what to do, not knowing who to go to.

And I can tell you that we saw that here in Costa Rica, we saw that here in Latin America, all of our governments were lost because they were not leading the country. They were just at the helm, but not actually piloting the ship. So that’s the conversation that we want to have today. Your thoughts guys.

LaMondre Pough: No. Absolutely. I agree with you 100%. It seems like what has happened is that we were pretty much on autopilot for quite some time and things just were kind of happening. And yes, we’d see, you know, uh, little bumps here and little spikes there and people would say, ‘Oh, that’s the Trump bump’ in terms of the economy or, or, because things had not diminished to a point where the country was in shambles or the world was in shambles for that matter.

Um, people were thinking we are doing okay, we’ve got some excellent leaders, but then you quickly find that real leadership is tested in times of challenge, in times of adversity. And that’s when the stuff that you’re made of really comes up. So I think that this is a really appropriate conversation to have right now, particularly in the guise of the, of a global perspective and what leadership really looks like.

Uh, around the world. Richard?

Richard Streitz: Well, yeah, I mean, I agree, crisis always brings out the best and worst in an individual. Um, because the, the armor that we put around ourselves, uh, on a daily basis, when we interact with people, both socially or through business or work, um, comes down that wears very thin all of a sudden in times of crisis.

And, and, you know, as you said, one’s true character comes out and that scales, I think at a micro level, at an individual personal level, but also at a, at a state level, um. You know, when you think of countries, it’s the same, it’s the same thing you ultimately see, what’s the true character and nature of that, of that, uh, uh, business or, or country, um, in time in times of crisis, not only just internally how they act and treat within their borders, but also how they treat their, their allies as well.

Um, and, uh, and, and so I think absolutely we’ve, in certainly the past few years we have seen global level crisises at multiple levels. Um, financial, um, we’ve seen war, we’ve seen, um, you know, now with the pandemic as well. Um, uh, we’ve seen,

David Pérez: emotional crises,

Richard Streitz: emotional crisis and I think it’s the culmination of all of these, any one of those, I think we would have been able to bear like we have, like you said, we, I think we’ve been operating on, on sort of autopilot, but as a result of, of these multiples, all stacking up at an exponential level, I think we’re seeing, um, what, what the real metal of, of, of individuals, of States, uh, of, of countries. Um, and that’s, it shows that we don’t have strong leadership, that the individuals that we’ve put, um, uh, at least here in the US where they’re elected, um, are not necessarily individuals who are best suited to be in leadership positions.

Um, and I think that goes to the issue, you know, how and why. That’s because, I think politics have become more of a marketing thing than actual ability. Um, and what ends up happening is we tend to elect people who, um, who through whatever best marketing mechanism they’ve been able to leverage, um, convince people to put them into those offices as opposed to being valued or weighted by the public on their true um, record and their true, uh, um, political, uh, uh, political abilities or, or leadership abilities.

David Pérez: Right. I I’ve always thought that actually government is a reflection of what’s going on in society. It is, it is a reflection. And in this side of the world, we know that companies are like our most elemental socioeconomic thing that we can compare to the government, right?

Because people are elected depending on their, on their effectiveness, right. To perform different positions inside companies. And that’s why I made in the introduction, the parallel with government and the leaders in companies not being prepared to actually lead, because I think that the fact that we are electing people

to government that are not prepared to actually lead people through a crisis or to lead them at all, is because we, at some point during this last 10, 20 years, lost what it was to actually lead. What it meant to actually create change for positive change for every individual in an organization. And I think that companies are proof of that, when you’re only focused on profit, you’re not thinking about inclusion.

It simply makes no sense to you. And you can get good results in profit, but inclusion simply doesn’t matter to you. So there’s a lot of people in your organization that are going to suffer as soon as something goes wrong. And what happened with governments? They were doing the same thing. They were, there were a lot of people that were not as bad as they could have been if things were bad ready, but as soon as things happened, again, for lack of a better term, that’s not

something that you don’t want to say in the radio.

When, when things start going wrong, you can see who was again, swimming without a swimsuit. So simply had nothing to stand on. And those people start of course, asking for leadership. Who’s going to take me out of this. Who’s gonna, who’s gonna lead me out of this desert that I’m in, because I don’t see the way.

And then you turn to the organizations that were supposed to be created to do that. And you find them lacking in answers, in solutions, in ideas. So that, that’s the main problem that at some point we lost what a leader was. What do you think a leader should look like? LaMondre?

LaMondre Pough: Well, I have a definition, um, that I like about leadership because as many people as there are on the earth, there are different definitions as to what leadership is, but this one really resonates with me. And it’s kind of a hybrid, uh, definition in that, um, some of it was influenced by, uh, John Maxwell. Who’s a, you know, a really well-known leadership expert, um, and some other,

uh,

leadership, uh, leadership experience and, um, and, and practitioners that I’ve been involved with. But the definition that I like, uh, for what is leadership, it is influence or a person’s ability to influence with an intended outcome.

Um, and honestly that takes away the, that takes away the, the, the, the. The moral compass in it, um, because let’s face it, you can lead someone in a very negative, uh, way and, and have very negative outcomes or you can lead someone, uh, to very positive things. So now the question was, what do I look at? Look for in a leader?

Well, integrity is one of those things. Integrity is something that’s really important to me, someone, um, someone who will stand up, someone who will admit a wrong, someone who will really have the people that they’re leading, that they will have their best interest at heart. And a couple of things that were said earlier, that, that stood out to me: You know, Richard said that, um, that politics really has become more of a marketing, uh, exercise than a governing exercise.

And I believe that, and I believe what they’ve become effective at leading or influencing people is influence them, influencing them to vote on their behalf or influencing them not to vote at all. Either way that gives, gets that individual to their intended outcome. And we can see that we can see that what’s happening with voter suppression.

We can see that. And I’m talking about voter suppression around the world. Um, we can see that, uh, in terms of people rallying up their bases and getting their bases all worked up, even though it is directly and knowingly dividing countries. And I’m not just talking about here in the US because we saw the same thing happen in the UK.

We saw the same thing happen in many places around the world. So what we realized is that, when you, when you really, when you really boil it down, that leadership really is about the ability to influence people to an expected outcome. But then I think the other piece that’s really important is that when things, when things were well, we, you know, everybody’s going like,

‘oh, he, or she’s a great leader. Things are going good’. But when things really got crazy, when things really went, went wild. Uh, we started, as David said, seeing those leaders, who’s going to save me, who’s going to save me in this situation. And what that told me is that leadership has very little to do with position.

That it’s not about the title. That it’s not about the, um, it’s not about what ranking you have in the organization, but it really is about who is going to follow you. And what is your expected in what is your expected outcome? So that was kind of a long answer, but David, that’s my answer.

David Pérez: It is a great answer. Richard, I really want to hear what you have to say about this.

Richard Streitz: Well, you know, leadership, I would agree that, uh, um, trustworthiness, integrity is really, um, high on the list in regard to what a, uh, what I would anticipate a, a leader, a good leader, um, to possess. And, and that is something that we certainly integrity is something we haven’t seen in politicians, um, regardless of, of their, uh, of their party, um, in a, in a long time, it seems.

Um, and, and again, not only just here in the US but I think across, um, across the world, in, in, in many countries, I think the populations would say similar things. If they’re allowed to, um, and, uh, um, and so that’s, that’s a big problem because if you have leadership without integrity or, or empathy, um, how can there be good governance?

Um, you know, you, you can’t have it. It’s true that there are oftentimes very difficult, especially when you’re a, a leader of, of a large country or many, many peoples that there are sometimes very hard decisions that have to be made that aren’t necessarily, um, equal for all. Um, because that’s, that’s part of making very, very tough decisions.

Um, for, for strategic and long-term and sustainable reasons. Um, uh, so, but that’s, that’s, that’s what makes a good leader is to not letting those points in time happen with, uh, very often that those types of decisions don’t have to be made, right. If they’re caught early enough to prevent a situation from getting to that point.

But, but nonetheless, um, you know, it’s, it’s. That’s what you would expect to find in a, in a good leader is someone who, um, knows and understands the people they are, they’re governing, um, or, or, um, responsible for, um, knows how to leverage the talents and skill sets, uh, and the specialties of the individuals that are under them to the, to, um, to best, to the best ability of, of the greater whole.

Of all people. Um, and that is something that we just don’t see. We see too much specialization and too much favoring for individuals who, um, who aren’t necessarily serving the best interest of the groups as a whole, but rather the personal, um, interests or gains of a few individuals at top. Um, and again, this is something that we’ve seen here in the States that that goes beyond just the past, certainly four or five years, but it’s something that we’ve seen systemically gain foothold for the past 25 years in our politics here in the U S and something that has run rampant across many other countries around the world for, for decades.

Um, and, and so, again, sort of a long-winded answer to you, but anyway, that’s what I certainly look for in a, in a good leader. And that, again, we’re, we’re relating everything back to a political or governance, but, but this is, it doesn’t matter, uh, president or a leader of a, of a major corporation or a small business.

It’s the same. Uh, the, the processes, the decision-making process is the same.

David Pérez: Yeah, absolutely. The decision-making process is the same wherever you are in society. That’s why we say that the study of politics is the study of power relationships. Wherever you see them in society, you can see them in your house or you can see them in government.

One interesting thing that I saw that both of you said that, that you would see in a good leader is, is integrity. And basically seeing that person looking to do good for everyone more than, than themselves. The problem here is I think that the reason that we have so many governments in such a bad position in, in this crisis is because,

as Richard said, it became more about marketing, right. But the rise of, of, of that scenario where marketing could sway an election and sway voters came about because of a tendency to, towards populism. Populism is it’s a political movement that’s supposed to care for the ordinary people, right. That’s where it comes from, the name.

But what has been done is trying to get those ordinary people, that people that were not being heard usually, trying to get them angry about something, angry enough that they will do anything to get you in office. And once you’re in office, you only care about yourself. So it’s populism without integrity, it’s capitalism, without integrity.

It’s leading a business without integrity. Whenever you do something like that, you are putting yourself in a position where you’re not going to be able to do one of the key things that I think a leader needs to be able to do. And that’s control chaos. Whenever chaos happens, a leader needs to be able to sit down aside from chaos, analyze the possible solutions and come up with the best plan to get out of this. And I know that when you don’t have integrity, you do not know how to do that because you don’t really understand the people that you fooled into getting you the position, whatever it may be. So. When do you think in history?

And this is a complicated question. I don’t know if you guys are going to have any sort of answer, but when do you think that that change happened? When did we stop electing people that were capable and integral and honest and started electing people that were not?

Richard Streitz: I, you know, uh, I, yeah, I, you know, for me, uh, it’s, it’s very clear.

It’s when, um, it’s when our media and our news shifted from being, um, about reporting truth to reporting opinions, um, based on, on marketing dollars. So when, uh, when it was realized that they could get more revenue from marketing dollars from advertisers, by catering the news or bending the news in a particular way that catered to a particular portion of the population that benefited the, um, the, the, um, advertisers.

Um, that’s when we started seeing opinion flow more and more and more into the news to generate larger, broader audiences that satisfied the marketing, uh, end games of, of, uh, of the, of the advertisers for, for a particular station or a particular broadcast. As a result of that, the, the, the point about that is that spilled over into what got airtime and what didn’t get airtime.

And as a result, what politicians and what voices suddenly were in front, were on, in front of the cameras more often, therefore creating that, that whole populist, uh, uh, uh, ideal that you were just talking about. Um, and, and then suddenly it became obvious that the people that had more airtime in front of the cameras actually ended up getting reelected more often.

And then, uh, and then that’s when it, then it was, you know, game over in regard to responsible politicians and now just marketing personalities, um, in, in regard to getting my next, my next, uh, um, uh, my next four years or, or my next, uh, um, seat as governor or mayor and what have you. And, and it just sort of went on there.

So what period of time did all that happen? I’m, I want to say somewhere, probably around, around the, the fifties and sixties. Um, when, um, when we started losing, um, our ability to actually broadcast news as just matter of fact items, as opposed to opinion, um, opinions and reflections of, of things that were happening.

Um, and, uh, um, yeah, I mean, I think, uh, by the time we were in the, in the late sixties, we were already full on into, into electing, um, officials that were, um, that had mark, um, marketing analysts part on their payroll to, uh, to drive their election campaigns. That’s that’s my opinion.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah,

Richard Streitz: Just on the observations.

LaMondre Pough: Right. I have a slightly different view of that because I think I would ask the question. So when will we start electing people? And allowing our, um, looking for people with, with true integrity. Um, and I’m not saying that there are not, uh, politicians and government workers and even business people who don’t walk in integrity.

I’m not saying that at all. There are a few,

Richard Streitz: there are few and far between unfortunately, yeah.

LaMondre Pough: There are a few, but I will say that we really haven’t. Um, and the reason that I say that first of all, chattel slavery was really a thing in the U S and this was sanctioned by the government for a while there.

Um, before that the US constitution did not see people who looked like me as people. So it worked for them. But it wasn’t really working for people who look like me. So integrity then would say that no people are people, a human is a human, but when you’re looking at, when you’re looking only at self preservation and further ends of self, then there is a superiority that comes into play.

Then there is, ‘Oh no, no, no, no, no. I don’t mean those people or I don’t mean those that property over there. I mean, me’ and, and here’s the thing. It goes back beyond the foundation of the Americas. Um, so, you know, so I think it is, I think it is a condition of humankind. I do. And I think that a part of, a part of our journey is to write that, a part of our, a part of our,  our, our experience, uh, in this world is to, is to correct that. Is to really dig and say, wait a minute, wait a minute. What are we doing here? What do we do doing here? It has to be something more than just about me. And I think that that is the exercise.

That is the, that, that is the experiment. That’s why we’re here. And that’s what we are working through. So I, I kind of see it from a different perspective. It just so happens that chattel slavery is probably the best example that I can come up with to represent. I don’t think we have, because even the people that we say, like the founders of our country, George Washington owned slaves, you know, Thomas Jefferson, even though they, even though they tried to romanticize the story, no, he was, he was having sex with a child. So let’s be clear on, on, on, on our founding fathers and the people who established this and ‘these were men of integrity’. Yeah. Who owned slaves and were pedophiles and all those kinds of things. Now here’s the complexity of the human experience as well. Did great things happen as a result of their actions?

Absolutely. Absolutely they did. Real quick, kind of how I look at it. It’s almost like, and this is something that I heard D.L. Hughley say it’s almost like the very same reason that I can still stand and sing the Star Spangled Banner, even though the third verse of that song talks about killing slaves.

But that’s still the song of this country. So we just never get to the second and third verse. But do I stand for the ideals that the country was based on, even though those ideals were written without including me? Absolutely. I stand for them, but I also stand for being transparent about the realities of them as well.

David Pérez: And I think that’s very important. What you’re saying. LaMondre because there’s, as you said, it is human nature to elect people that basically represent the majority or the people that have the most power at that time, it has always happened and it’s probably gonna continue to happen. Because that’s, that’s who we are as a human race.

We know that we created democracy, trying to find a solution to that, and it didn’t work out. It hasn’t worked out, not for everyone. And, but, but there’s a tendency in human nature to also always think that past times were better than what we have now. And that’s absolutely not true. We know that things are better now than they were in the sixties, in the fifties, in the thirties, and things get better for humanity and as things get better for humanity, we know that there’s a big, big, big potential in education to actually create change.

From the roots. To basically change people before they are able to make decisions, to help them make the best decisions that they can. I think that the only solution that we have to that human nature problem is educating people on why you should elect someone that’s going to do the hard things instead of only tell you the nice things that you want to have.

Richard Streitz: You know, um, it’s certainly, um, addressing this from the human nature. Uh, leadership in human nature is something that goes back of course, to the Dawn of time. Um, and, and one of the fascinating things about that is, if, um, if one studies, uh, uh, ancient history, um, and Rome and the, uh, the, um, The meeting minutes, if you will, of the Roman senates, which are all absolutely recorded and, and available for well, if you can find them.

Um, but they’re, they’re all, there, there is, you know, hundreds of years worth of, of Senate hearings, um, from the Roman empire where, um, where the issues that we’re going through, um, have all been gone through again, as, as the Roman empire went through its rise and fall, and we’re somewhere along that curve.

Right. We’re we’re uh, because there’s an inevitability of that. Um, and so, you know, democracy is a, is a continuous evolving, um, thought, ideal. Uh, and even though we like to think that we are the epitome of it, I think that we are just a long that’s that, that that’s gradient scale of democracy as it’s evolved.

Um, and it behooves us as, as David, you said, um, education and awareness about what, what has happened in the past. Looking at the parallels, because again, we’re not going through anything new or unique, um, that, you know, centuries ago, uh, peoples and governments have had to go through the same sorts of things.

Um, and, and human nature oddly enough is the common thread between all of that is that we tend to act exactly the same way. Um, and we have much more, uh, modern tools. And I think the speed to which, um, we’re able to accomplish things is at a faster rate only because of the technologies and the, and, and the modern tech, uh, um, um, telecommunications we haven’t so forth. So at a global scale, things happen much more instantly than they did back in those days. But the issues and challenges held by the leaders are, are really identical. Um, and, and being students of that and going back, I mean, I. I think it should be paramount that all of our senators and legislators go through and study, um, uh, some of those, uh, Senate hearings, uh, going back to the Roman empire, um, and, and analyze and look and see.

Because we are, we are the human animal. We are the human species and we behave exactly the same way as we did a thousand years ago, nothing has changed because we’re a hardware, you know, David, like you said, we’re sort of hardwired that way. Um, leaders we’ll we’ll, we will be attracted by a certain type of leader.

Um, we will, and we will fall victims to certain types of leaders. Uh, and, and it, it, it’s up to us to have the wherewithal, to be able to identify that early enough before it becomes a problem to us, the people.

David Pérez: Yeah.

LaMondre Pough: You know, I remember thinking, um, when I was, when I was younger, I remember thinking how could a Hitler come to power?

How could these tyrants in, in the 20th century, how could, how could that happen at the 20th century, but what has happened in the last few years? I see exactly how it could happen. Fear, division. Um, a sense that someone is taking something from you, censorship. Absolutely. Uh, Demonizing, um, demonizing the outlets where people get most of their information from, uh, which, you know, before were considered extremely credible.

Um, but, but now I see exactly how that, how that could come about and I could see how it can happen over and over again now. Um, you know, because it’s, it’s really scary to think about what we’re really capable of, um, in many instances, but it’s also extremely uplifting to think about what we’re capable of, you know, that, that we can do better, that we must do better.

In fact, I believe that we are doing better and we will do better. I just believe that some of the things that we’re dealing with now are necessary in order for us to really take a look at who we are. To really understand that ‘wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute’. It is so easy for us to get caught up into this, this thing of ‘I’m exceptional’ or ‘I’m special’.

And those people over there are trying to take something from me when you really boil down to it, you realize that we’re actually all the same and that we want the same things. You know, we may have different ideas of how we get there. But we really are striving for, by and large, we’re striving for the same things.

And so, while I believe there is a, there has been a great void of leadership that has really been highlighted over this past year, especially the truth is I also believe that there has been a great door opened. For people to step forward and it has nothing to do again with titles. It has nothing to do with position.

It really has nothing to do with charisma or any of those attributes either. But it has everything to do with, I can influence people in a positive way to a positive outcome. And I believe that that, that, that those people are standing up. And I believe that, uh, I still believe in us. I’m going to say it again. I believe in us.

David Pérez: And it is, it is something good to, to always believe in the power of humans to, to do the right thing. I think we all know that there’s that drop of good in every single human being, even though they might not appear as such when they have power. And there’s always that, that old adage, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I do think that there needs to be a way to find balance and that the corruption that power brings comes as LaMondre was saying from the fear of losing power.

Richard Streitz: Yep.

David Pérez: And wherever you are in society, you have probably more power than someone else just because of your race, your gender, your abilities, something, something puts you on top of someone else in the political scale.

And you don’t want to be moved from there because you fear losing that power. This brings me to one of the things that I want to say, closing this, this episode of 3DVU and that’s, it comes from a book called Conversations with God. I don’t agree with everything that’s said in that book, but one thing is that it says that every bad feeling that you have, every evil thing that happens in your brain comes from fear.

And the opposite of that feeling is love. And when, when Jesus was asked, what is the more, the most important law? His answer was simple. Love God above all else and love your neighbor as you would love yourself. And if we all start working from that essence, I don’t care if you’re Christian or not. The essence of thinking first of everyone else and how, what you’re doing is going to affect them.

I think that’s the way that we can build a new generation of actual integral, honest leaders that are going to take us to the next level of whatever democracy or whatever new political system that we create. But it needs to come from love. It can’t come from the place of fear that we all are at some point in our lives.

LaMondre Pough: That’s beautiful man, great way to end it.

Richard Streitz: Yeah, it’s a great quote.

David Pérez: To end the episode. Thanks for listening again, and see you in the next one. Thanks for joining us this week on 3DVU  make sure to visit our website Ruhglobal.com/3DVU that’s ruhglobal.com/3DVU. Or you can subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts or join our YouTube channel. So you will never miss a show. While you’re at it if you find value in the show we appreciate it, if you would leave a like or comment or simply tell a friend about the show that would really help us a lot too. If you would like to join our conversations, you can join our Facebook community 3DVU, three perspectives, one conversation.