Pragmatic | Leadership in the information era

Like being at the centre of a circle.

From Joseph Nye’s lecture at Chatham House on The Future of Power:

In an information age, what you find is that hierarchical patterns of deference are greatly devalued, and you have to then appeal as a leader in a different way. In an industrial era, leadership was like being king of the mountain and your orders cascaded down to those below you. In an information age, leadership is more like being at the centre of a circle. And you have to attract others to you. That reinforces the importance of soft power and narrative. And the really skilled leader, is the leader who can develop a narrative in a democracy which attracts people to him, or her, obviously for votes, but also for support. But a narrative which simultaneously attracts an outside, or multiple audience. And that’s difficult.

…But it is not easy, because any leader who speaks at any time in this information age has to realise that there are not one or two audiences, or one or two channels. There’s now in the blogosphere a multitude of audiences and interpreters and channels. So it is much harder.

How many leaders in India — political, administrative, military, business and intellectual — have imbibed this basic requirement of the information era?

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.