”The burning need for a strong leadership at prime minister level”
English translation of a Swedish opinon piece published 4 September 2018 in the newspaper ”Tidningen Ångermanland”
We need a conscious leadership, where the leader understands how it is she/he and those who lead that create conflicts or community, retrogression or development in a society. Leaders who understands that the responsibility can never be placed on anyone else.
Leaders who understand that when we create peace in a country this is also the way to financial growth. This implies creating a goal on such a high level of abstraction that it becomes beneficial to all. I am not only talking to the current prime minister [of Sweden], but to all who want to take the spot in September.
Responsibility is the decisive key for our coming leaders this fall. This implies taking responsibility for all who are living in all of Sweden. This includes the richest, the poorest, the most creative, the passive, those who burn cars, those who research, those who dance, those who work for peace, those who find community in racist organisations, those who collect stamps, those who exercise three times a week, those who get drunk as many times a week.
It includes everybody! And it implies not to praise some and condemn others.
It is not possible to blame immigration, criminality or the difficulties in recruiting doctors, nurses and policemen and women. These are just symptoms of the lack of a long-term goal that benefits all of the people in Sweden. We have not had such a goal for our country in a very long time, but society has still functioned.
During the past years we have met challenges in relation to, for example, all the people who have moved to Sweden and from the large restructuring processes in the public sector, which has lead to that all no longer feel they are part of the Swedish community.
The horses bite when the stall is empty, is an old expression that describes the reason for the conflicts and the protests we see in Sweden today. People who feel they are not being seen become angry. Those who have a greater vision and take a larger responsibility for the whole than those who lead become threatening. Not because they don’t like politicians, but because they have a greater passion and they want to realise it.
In my work as a leadership developer I know that I see other people through myself and I take responsibility for my projections in relation to those that I lead in order to succeed in catalysing their development.
This responsibility is decisive for getting the whole group to want to follow me. Furthermore, I need to have a greater passion for a more comprehensive, long-term goal than those I lead. This is also required by the prime minister and the politicians that take on the government in September.
I know we can create a vision that encompasses everybody. We can do this if we raise the essence of all the political parties’ perspectives to a higher level of abstraction and anchor the vision physically. This is the prerequisite for Sweden to once again become a leading example in peace issues and a country that takes the lead, as one of the world’s strongest economies who shows the way in humanity, gender equality and equality.
Annika Sundbom Åström, Leadership Developer, with support of
Mathilda Lindgren, Peace Researcher
Human Dignity A Center For Leadership AB Sollefteå
For the full article in Swedish, see Tidningen Ångermanland.