James Flynn is an intelligence researcher with a lot of studies about the human intelligence evolution, he compares people now and in the nineteen hundreds, how did human think and approach problems, he says in the nineteen hundreds people where thinking in a direct way (concrete block), which means our grandparents were unable to ask and think in a hypothetical way, based on Alexander Luria’s questions and studies in the early half of the century, who is a thinker that studied neuropsychology, an example for one on the questions Laura used to ask is whats common between fish and crows, the subject answered one flies the other swims, one can be eaten the other vandalize crops, so there is common thing between them (Thu-Huong Ha, 2013), You can watch Flynn TED Talk about this subject.
So human IQ is increasing, but does human EQ increases among ages? and how does that relate to our topic?
Zoe Routh compassion in middle ages was considered a weakness, kings, knights and tribes leaders were considered weak if they show mercy. the show of power and dominance was required to a leader , obviously humans Emotional intelligence evolved, and one of todays theories of leadership shows that to be a good leaders is to be strong, brave and compassionate (Routh, 2016).
According to Jeff Weiner CEO of linkedIn compassionate leadership is to put yourself as a leader in the others’ shoe, which shows a complete transfers in leadership styles among the evolution of human knowledge and time.
These days Courage is an important key in a successful leadership (Peter Voyer, 2011), for example the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods Michael H. McCain, showed an outstanding courage in august 2008 when he faced the catastrophe of deaths caused by contaminated meet and accepted responsibility of the incident. Also Southwest Airlines CEO James Parker showed courage when he faced the industry trend of laying of employees by announcing that he will keep his employees after three days of 9/11. so courage is an important characteristic in the leader these days to face problems and protect the employees if needed (Peter Voyer, 2011). Courage is “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” based on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
After we established that human beings knowledge, IQ and EQ is always evolving and changing, also theories and practices change like compassion in leadership, and establishing that courage is an important characteristic in leadership now. We can say that even courage and withstanding fear may be not that important in a leader. Some will say: yes, this could happen but not know, it took hundreds of years to put compassion in the leadership characteristic, based on Routh’s paper in 2016 because it took all the middle ages to change compassion as an acceptable act for leaders. But human Knowledge these days grows exponentially (RS_GUARDIAN, 2018).
That means changes will happen faster than ever and will keep changing, So we as a researchers have to adapt to these conditions. From this perspective I suggest that courage is less affective in leadership these days because new generations addresses their fear more than ever because they are more confidant according to Jean M. Twenge’s book “Generation Me”, and no need for withstanding fear, which is a type of courage based on the definition. New generation also more assertive that means the whole group under the leader will be more sure of how to face problems and deal with objects, and this also decrease the need of courage in a leader because the group of followers will fill that void if needed. If courage will play a smaller role in the modern leadership, there have to be a trait that will take courage’s place. What will it be?
As the new generation have strength comparing to the older generation they also have their weaknesses according to Jean M. Twenge’s book “Generation Me”, they are less tolerance which employs less patience to wait for results, and the trust in others decreased. So in order to be a good leader that the others will follow, leaders have to gain trust in a fast to compensate the lack of trust and tolerance. That could be achieved if the leader is willing to show and put more effort than the team, so they will trust him, and it is much faster than building trust as usual by waiting for certain incidents to happen and judge based on the leaders action. For example: if a groups goal to drink 500ml of water, the leader have to show that he is welling to drink two liters of water, basically put more effort.
In conclusion, leadership have to be changing and adaptable, even the modern theories that puts courage as an important trait in leaders, have to focus more on leaders ability to put more effort than the others, which was not the case in the nineteen hundreds.
TED Blog. 2019. Jim Flynn at TED2013: Are we getting more intelligent? | TED Blog. [ONLINE] Available at: https://blog.ted.com/are-we-getting-more-intelligent-jim-flynn-at-ted2013/. [Accessed 08 January 2019].
Zoë Routh. 2019. Is compassion a weakness? — Zoë Routh. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.zoerouth.com/news/zoeinnercompasscomau. [Accessed 08 January 2019].
Courage in leadership: From the battlefield to the boardroom • . 2019. Courage in leadership: From the battlefield to the boardroom • . [ONLINE] Available at: https://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/courage-in-leadership-from-the-battlefield-to-the-boardroom/. [Accessed 08 January 2019].
Google Books. 2019. Generation Me – Revised and Updated: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More … – Jean M. Twenge – Google Books. [ONLINE] Available at: https://books.google.jo/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1wGZBAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP11&dq=new+generations+exspress++their+fear+more&ots=xTvsBjV20N&sig=_mOSrQVu8erKZk-vQ4372U-5Vbk&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=new%20generations%20exspress%20%20their%20fear%20more&f=false. [Accessed 08 January 2019].
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