In every society, some people can motivate others to perform any actions that express common interests and preferences. Such individuals possess all the best qualities necessary to accelerate changes, such as justice, responsiveness, determination, and giftedness. However, some so-called negative leaders contribute only to negative changes in society. Therefore, the question of whether people need leaders and what the world would look like without them is relevant in the contemporary world. This paper will analyze a world that is, in fact, void of leadership and affirm that leaders are the driving force behind every prosperous civilization.
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To answer the question of whether the world needs leaders, it is first necessary to determine who these people are. In modern dictionaries, there are three meanings of this word, which have one thing in common — leaders need to be in charge and to promote changes in society (Rosenbach, 2018). In this case, the goal that leaders set and the means that they choose for solving their problems are of great importance. True leaders should possess such qualities as courage, perseverance, confidence in the correctness of the chosen path, high moral values, unquestioned authority, and respect for others. They should be able to take on the challenges of the world and respond to them in new ways. Such people are the ones who see the place of their followers in the world and in eternity. Thus, leadership is the ability to strategize, that is, to take a long-term, global action.
Leaders have existed at all times within the history of humankind. History knows many examples of people who were able to lead others inspired by various social and military exploits. Jesus Christ, Confucius, the prophet Muhammad – all these people can be called leaders since they have made an enormous contribution to humanity and even changed it (Komives & Wagner, 2016). Without leaders, society would cease to exist because the majority of people are passive, they do not want to take responsibility, make decisions, and be responsible for others. Power is the right and ability of some people to use force against other individuals. This is an element of control over people in order to comply with certain rules established by the same authority. Therefore, without leadership, the world will face a lack of power and, as a consequence, an inability to control its population.
It is hard to imagine the modern world without leaders. The first thing that such a version of the world will face is chaos and uninitiated because people will be lazy and unmotivated. They will stop going to work, performing their tasks, and creating progressive innovations. On a global scale, such a world will face a huge shift in centers of geopolitical influence and economic power. The world without leadership will promote the emergence of needs to reorganize the newly established economic order, not exclusively influenced by concerns of developed countries as it used to be in the past. Within the framework of international relations, states without leaders, which were able to cope with changes in the universal environment, will need to survive and eventually can cease to exist. Accordingly, the world without leaders will be decentralized, chaotic, and confined, becoming the source of all-encompassing anarchy, the leading cause of the demise of civilizations.
In essence, the complexity of society inevitably leads to the introduction of a hierarchy in the world. The latter means the emergence of special persons who perform only managerial functions and receive priority access to resources. Since the amount of resources is almost always limited, access to them is mediated by various mechanisms of dominance. The higher status provides leaders with access to public and significant resources. Immediately or gradually, consciously or unconsciously, all or some of the leaders seek to take advantage of the created situation to improve personal well-being or obtain new privileges. Under such circumstances, stratification, state, civilization, and private property arose in human society.
Anarchy, in turn, implies the absence of the power of any individual over other individuals, or in other words, the absence of the pronounced leader. There will also be many aspects of decentralization in informal settlements in the world without leaders. The main urban infrastructures and services will be decentralized, undoubtedly, due to the fact that individuals will be disconnected from centralized services, but also for other reasons. Limited resources, small volume, self-organization, and a desire for direct participation and control will be among the reasons why the society without leadership will cease to exist.
Overall, when envisioning a world that is, in fact, void of leadership, it becomes evident that this world will be in absolute chaos due to uncontrolled people and an increase in anarchy. This new version of the world will go back to the old days of absolutely unorganized states and will soon cease to exist. Human nature is such that we need leadership to maintain a normal order of life, adherence to rules of conduct, and social cohesion. Consequently, the world needs leaders to maintain public order, to have an organized society, and to prosper in general.
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Komives, S. R., & Wagner, W. (Eds.). (2016). Leadership for a better world: understanding the social change model of leadership development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Rosenbach, W. E. (2018). Contemporary issues in leadership. New York, NY: Routledge.