I work with teams and team leaders, and one of the keys to being a good leader is to understand foundational principles. The same foundational principles that operate in a team will operate on any level in any environment.
It is difficult not to comment on what is happening in the world and in our country at the moment because it affects every area of our lives.
The ability to thrive in trying circumstances is as a result of a number of things. Here are two:
- A higher purpose that takes us out of the crisis and gives us perspective.
- Understanding what is happening so that we can take control and make clear decisions.
This is an attempt to bring some understanding.
The difficulty of understanding what is happening is because of complexity.
Worldwide, governments generally have simple answers to simple problems, and they struggle when things become too complex. Business can deal with complexity, but governments cannot.
What creates complexity? When two or more foundational principles converge.
If you do not understand the complexity of multiple foundational principles, then your answers will be simplistic, and the outcome can be lethal.
I want to look at two foundational principles that have converged:
- Broken trust
The foundational principle is the lawlessness produces poverty.
The outworking of it is that it breaks down society, and it produces violence.
A quick study of the nations of this world will show you that the countries that are the wealthiest are the most law-abiding, and the poorest countries in the world, often with the most natural resources, are lawless.
Law-abiding people do not obey the law because the law says they must, they obey the law because it is the right thing to do. In other words, they are not law-driven, they are value-driven. Good governance, that produces wealth, is dependent on good values of good people. Governments cannot rule unless they have the cooperation of the people.
The foundational principle is that nothing functions properly without trust.
Broken trust is one of the most destructive forces that exists.
There are many aspects to trust. I will look at three.
Do I trust:
- Your motive
- Your honesty or integrity
- Your ability or capability
If one of these is absent, it is problematic.
If two are absent, it is a crisis.
If all three are absent, it is anarchy.
If you are a leader and there is broken trust, leading becomes impossible. If there is broken trust in a lawless environment you have anarchy.
COVID-19 is actually quite manageable, and it is exactly what governments all over the world have been saying:
- Wash your hands regularly
- Wear a face mask
- Maintain social distancing
If we all did this the virus would not spread. This has already been proved in countries that have done this.
Why do some countries not do it? Because they don’t trust the advice that they are given.
There is broken trust. The danger of a simple thing like banning cigarettes is there are suddenly millions of law-abiding citizens that have become criminals, increasing lawlessness.
It is not a coincidence that Gender Based Violence (GBV) has increased. It is a direct result of making criminals out of law-abiding citizens, creating a society that is more and more lawless. GBV flourishes in a lawless environment.
The two things keeping our country together right now are a small percentage of people who have good values, and fear. Without these there would be complete anarchy.