Stefon Lyons

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Why do you think there aren't as many vocal leaders as there has been throughout history?

I have been thinking for awhile there is a lack of leadership outside of the politicians. In all other time periods there have been leaders for different causes whom people looked up to and respected such as the obvious examples Ghandi, MLK Jr., Elizabeth Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, etc etc.. Why do you think people aren't put up on the pedestal behind the podium to ignite positive progress anymore? Branching off of that do you think the people in todays world would be accepting of that? Would that style of leadership be good in todays climate?

One of the reasons that i've been contemplating is that whenever someone advocates for change they are viewed as different and they are cast aside because the people don't want to upset the system it seems like. Another major factor i think plays into it is nobody wants to sacrifice. For major groundbreaking change to occur people will need to put there necks on the line for the group, people will get beat up by cops, people will get thrown in jail, and i see that as a key factor in why for lesser or for more "Revolutions" don't happen anymore.

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    Jan 16 2013: My first thought was “The media”

    As soon as a leader starts to gain in popularity, the media jump on them and drag them into the mud.

    But instead I'll say that today's people realize that one person is not the single expert in all areas, and true wisdom does not come from a single person but from the crowd.

    So you could say crowd-source is the great leader of the day.
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      Jan 16 2013: I agree with your second sentence but in response to the points stated later do you not think the crowd, without a focused agenda is ineffective? People are smart, the masses are stupid, thats been proven over time.

      I definitely agree no one is an expert in all areas and no one should try and provoke change with such a claim, but on the other hand a strong leader with a high moral standing and character can get the crowd thinking about the right things and get people to question the current state.
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        Jan 17 2013: With the growing diversity in crowd-source groups, only people interested in the subject will flock to it.
        One reason crowd-source works do great is because it is not limited to a select smart group, it is better to have a mixture of smart, wise, educated and poorly-educated that is to say a group that all don’t think alike.
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          Jan 17 2013: Well with all of the major changes that have happened they have all been pretty diverse groups in regards of thought process and personal agenda.
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      Jan 29 2013: Media was also my first thought. It is humane to have weaknesses and make mistakes, but somehow for the media that is always a "shock and sensation" that a person behind great thoughts might also have not so great weaknesses. Amounts of information we get theses days destroys the allure and wholesome image a leader is expected to have.
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    Jan 16 2013: I suppose the times we live in are simply not extraordinary. Leaders are born when the circumstances require them, not vice versa.
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      Jan 16 2013: But isn't there always troubling circumstances? There are still a multitude of issues that need resolving.
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        Jan 17 2013: True, but you can't deny the world is a relatively much more peaceful place than, say, during the first half of the 20th century. And that is is spite of what the media are showing us - terrorism, war in Iraq and so on. I do not wish to say those issues are not relevant but they are nevertheless local issues, not global. Some people try to make the global warming such an issue but as long as there are doubts about the intentions of its advocates, or as long as the climate does not collapse, this issue will not become a world-wide crisis. Talking about crisis - the recent financial one also did not reach a magnitude that would equal the WW2. So there you go - the times are not extraordinary.

        I am sure that should a world-wide crisis erupt - leaders would suddenly be born.
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          Jan 17 2013: There are definitely things going on right now that should be considered global issues but people turn a blind eye, some brief examples, civil wars in Africa, AIDS, Cancer, dwindling resources, rising rate of poverty, monopolies in the market place, and so on. People just aren't identifying with them because we want to think its peace time.
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        Jan 18 2013: Yes, something has happened to people - they are inert and indifferent. But it only menas that it will take an event of a really huge treshold to wake them up.

        I don't know, however, if the ultimate outcome would be so pleasing. Let's not forget that "awaken" people are just as likely to bring help and restoration as wars and destruction.
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          Jan 19 2013: Destruction is the last thing i want, i think it is time to rebuild and restart.... but with the amount of ignorant, face valued people in todays society i see this being difficult to induce.
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    Jan 17 2013: There are still great people out there, they are just harder to hear
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    Jan 16 2013: Only courageous men and women of intergrity and character in leadership positions would speak against injustice and corruption.
    Courage that would require a firm and truthful stand on the global village scale, is threatened by the appeal of conformity, and the aversion for painful truths.
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      Jan 16 2013: This aligns with my thought process exactly but i cant figure out if its due to people cowering away from the limelight or if it is the people who suffocate the individual/ movement.
  • Jan 16 2013: Because we are still living our history.

    Three hundred years from now, people will read history books and will be told who were the vocal leaders in our time.

    Not all vocal leaders live to see the changes they are vocal about.....as your list of people above well illustrates.
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      Jan 16 2013: I thought you had run away Mary!

      In net time "Long time no see"
      • Jan 16 2013: Hi Ken.....long time no see.

        I have been keeping up with the talks and conversations, but had no time to contribute.

        It's nice to be able to participate once again.

        Read you around Ken!!!
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      Jan 16 2013: I agree for sure but i would also note that with todays technology and media coverage a leader of the magnitude and significance as those prior but would be a polarizing figure in the moment and not someone behind the scenes who twenty years from now we will be talking about.
      • Jan 16 2013: Stefon, of course! I thought of that too.

        And what do you think of all the speakers on TED?
        Don't you think they are vocal leaders?
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          Jan 17 2013: I definitely would but TED talks seem to be so individual, I hear a TED talk and think its incredible and then never hear about the incredibly sophisticated speaker ever again. Do you think people just aren't backing the causes or the speaker isn't delivering that type of message? I'd say it's both.
  • Jan 30 2013: I think leadership is becoming a share attribute. I don't think we will see much single voices and a lot of followers anymore. I think we will rise our voices as groups more and with the help of social media and open forums we will develop our strength, solid vision and mechanism to succeed.
  • Jan 17 2013: You don't hear about them as much because politics have become a contest to see who can yell the loudest, thus those whom we would like to hear get drowned out.
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    Jan 17 2013: A number of things come to mind. The primary as Don Anderson expressed is the media. Many of the examples where leaders by action not by oratory. The second point is almost as important. These people lived and acted at the precise right time in history. Many of these people would have met a violent death if they had acted in the same manner a few years earlier. It also should be pointed out that many of these people were not great heros during their lives as much as history elevated them to that status after their death.

    Time and circumstance elevate people. Fidel Castro was a man of healing, a Doctor. He was the face of the reveloution in Cuba. Could he have gained or maintained power without Che Guevara's iron fist. Doubtful. It has been discussed that Winston Churchill would never have been in office except the war made him the right person at the right time.

    In todays terms you need two things: 1) Media backing and 2) Money or finicial backing.

    In my life time I have witnessed a great change. My parents both worked to maintain a home and be debit free. If the entered a contract they fretted over it until it was paid off. Today we see everyone running out on obligations. Houses they could not afford and school debits that they ignore. Both have been seen as acceptable to those in power. The administration and the media endorse this as it is the fault of the wealthy 1%.

    The oratory has went from the hard working, honest, immigrant citizen .... to entitlements for all earned or not. You either endorse the platform or you reject it.

    There are really only two platforms and MOST people limit their thoughts and they shall be known as sheeple.

    Independent thought is not as acceptable as in the past ... the current thought is that you are either with me or against me. In this light voices have been silenced.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Jan 17 2013: I enjoyed reading your response. I especially liked the part about timing because it is very true a lot of missions get shut down before they even get started and then nobody ever knows what was in the works, Maybe that has more to it than we are thinking... I would also agree that people in general don't want to work for what they get anymore and are all looking for the quick fix, but i do put a lot of the blame on the people at the top financially. The difference in payouts is larger then it has ever been and it doesnt make sense. Why cant the owner take home 100 million instead of 400 million? Asking for more equal pay is not me being a communist its me being a realist and recognizing the selfishness of the elitist, but the economic system is a conversation for another day. Well if its for or against you can definitely count me as one of the against because this system is broken.
      Thank you for your input i really did appreciate it.
  • Jan 16 2013: "Why do you think there aren't as many vocal leaders as there has been throughout history?"

    Because history is long. Great leaders have accumulated over the course of history, they didn't all live at the same time, so why do you expect a lot of great leaders to all live in this time?
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      Jan 16 2013: I certainly don't expect a lot but if you go back you can come up with definitive figures, at least 1 major player for every decade.
  • Jan 16 2013: Too much noise and competing voices? Of course, there is always the Donald unless you consider him a politician. I have heard this thesis before, but I have questions. In fact, social media has recently toppled governments. Finally, a few big political special interest groups have been able to exert more power than they probably should be doing over public discourse. Modern advertising is a new development. Was that always true to some degree? The people who fought and died in the American Civil War were very different than the opinion-shapers who started it. Hasn't that always been true? Aren't there better thought control methods than ever before?
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      Jan 16 2013: I agree, George, that when it is as easy to project your voice as it is today, there are so many sharing that spotlight that no single one stands out as easily. Loud dissenting voices may be more rather than less rare than in earlier times. The toppling of governments through mass action and social media is a good reminder of the extent of popular outspokenness and the success of it in recent history.
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      Jan 16 2013: Yep, I agree but i would like to add previous great voices in the last century and a half have been globally delivered faster than the previous centuries voices.

      So much noise.