Five years ago Naked Leadership was an alien concept, but now leaders in all walks of life are preaching the benefits of a leadership paradigm that includes far-flung collaborators and widely divergent ideas. The concept of a single, charismatic leader, with perfect vision and inspiration seems quite obsolete in a world made impossibly complex by global telecoms and instant feedback.
The realization that leaders, corporations and authorities were no longer in control of people’s perceptions and voices began to sink in when the Gulf Oil Spill resulted in a total disaster for BP, and their CEO had to step down in disgrace.
This was followed by the Arab Spring, as millions of oppressed people broke their silence and demanded their freedom – freedom to be heard, and freedom to choose!
Dictators were deposed and even Gaddafi succumbed to the will of the people, without the option of retirement or exile.
From Wall Street to Beijing, the genie was out of the bottle, and people could text, tweet, facebook and youtube their protests. In a world laid bare by social media, there really is no place to hide!
Some diehard despots in the Middle East and Africa still held out defiantly, but global corporations have taken the trend to heart, putting the customer in control of the business, and reaping immense rewards in terms of loyalty and new-found innovation.
Demonstrating his commitment to open government, the Democratic candidate for the US presidency has publicly listed all his student transgressions and admitted to several extra-marital indiscretions.
“I’ve got nothing to hide,” he said. “We’re all naked now!”