Three Wellsprings of Leadership®

John J. (Jack) Long

Posts Tagged ‘Leadership Negligence in Greece’

The Lack of “Leadership” As It Relates To Greece

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Is there “leadership” criticism that relates to both The EU / International Monetary Fund side (the creditor site), and the Greek side (the borrower side)? Of course.

The Greeks have never accepted “modernity” and they are not a cultural part of the EU. They operate in ethical and economic frameworks that are entirely different form the western frameworks (which, of course, includes the frameworks of the northern tier of Europe). They are child-like in their expectations of an entitlement to a non-refundable “allowance” from their northern neighbors and parents. They are genuine socialists: Don’t worry, if you have problems, the federal government will take care of you. Greece has no adult leadership. How sad for the Greek people.

(As an aside, this is the reason I lost twice in my Congressional campaigns in Vermont against the self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders (he favors socialist with a small “s”, whatever that means); how does one counter the populist argument that the federal government will always take care of you? With counter-arguments related to hard work; appreciating the dignity of work; being independent; being prideful; helping your neighbors when necessary; contributing to your church; meeting your obligation to make a contribution to society; saving for a “rainy day”; and being thrifty? Hardly!)

The IMF, the European Central Bank, and the EU have been grossly negligent in not understanding the “allowance expectations” of the Greeks. There was never an understanding of the “fudging” of Greek economic statistics (by the way, what about the significant, systemic problems of the EU Central Bank?), or an understanding that Greece was not a candidate for membership in the EU or the currency regime. For this gross negligence, they owe something to the Greeks in their current circumstances.

Prime Minister Tsipras is naïve, remarkably inexperienced, arrogant, annoying, and child-like. He thrills in misleading the embarrassingly under-informed Greek voters, and insulting his creditors and potential creditors (calling them, for example, “terrorists”). He is a garden variety populist. Were the banks open this past Tuesday? Of course not. Will an agreement be reached by the end of this week? Of course not. Will he be held accountable for these misstatements? Of course not.

In my last book, I posit three foundations of “Leadership”: Character (as opposed to mere character traits); Hope (the ability to make hopeful those who anticipate leadership); and Imagination. Tsipras lacks an adult Character; he makes the Greeks hopeful by misleading them (not my version of “Hope”); and he lacks the Imagination to sort things out – he is much more comfortable in the sophomoric insulting of his creditors and misleading the citizens of Greece. He is not a “child of the light”; rather, he is a “child of the darkness”.

The IMF and EU entities need to adhere to their mandated obligations; however, they must help Greece to the extent that is lawful and appropriate to do so. The rest of us need to pray for Greece, and hope that it can elect an educated, artful leadership that includes leaders and economists who are not anchored to the failed political and economic left.

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