Who is a good Civil Leader? What are the effects of the Digital Civil Revolution on Democracy and Political Parties? An interview about Steven de Waal’s book ‘Civil Leadership as the Future of leadership’ (Amazon 2018). [Read more below. Also available as video.]
Part I. What is Civil Leadership?
After a short explanation of his new concept of ‘civil leadership’ – a unique concept from the dissertation of Dr. Steven de Waal: ‘The Value(s) of Civil Leaders’ (Eleven 2014) – the interview follows with the search for examples. One of the main examples De Waal mentions is Jacinda Ardern, the current prime minister of New Zealand, in which country he recently lectured about his book. In her handling of the massacre in Christchurch, empathetic and emotional on the one side and using the power of her position by prohibiting the weapons that were used on the other, she showed this modern leadership.
Civil Leadership means showing your personality and personal emotions (‘empathy’ and an attitude of ‘one-of-us-citizens’) in combination with using your position and power to change things (‘delivering’).
Part II. Disruption of Democracy
The same technologies that disrupted markets (internet, apps, social media, online platforms) are now disrupting democracies: newcomers from outside politics and classic political parties now win elections. Main topics addressed about this new strategic context are:
- The explanation of the success of the campaigning and ascendance of Trump (president USA) and Macron (president of France)
- The importance of the new Battle for the Eyeballs: How scarcity of attention is now the main economic and political strategic factor in all public competition, including elections.
- How this changes the public arena fundamentally: more drama, theatre and personality.
- How this strategically changes the media landscape: all journalists now have to follow the agenda on social media and this also helps them to know and to further investigate what ‘the people’ are worried or attentive about
- That this disruption of democracy starts with the disruption of the main function of political parties: recruiting and selecting people for government jobs. The new media create a new public arena in which newcomers can publicly gain attention, adherence, followership and show that. This way they already have done the public battle and this success gives them power against (or a strong partnership with) current political parties, who want to win elections.