Leadership in time of crisis is most often different than the leadership that prevails during calm and stable times. When the unknown presents, leadership differs from that which is required during familiar
challenges. For Earth in the near future, the leadership that will emerge will be that which can deal with all known techniques for group preservation being questioned, all established expectations for
intra-group cooperation being disappointed, and problems the group faces routinely overwhelming the resources of the group. In other words, the leadership will be taking a fresh approach, or will fail. This
almost invariably excludes the establishment leadership, which has emerged during economic and geological stability. The qualities of leadership have been much analyzed, and training programs established,
but captains of industry have emerged not from such programs but because of qualities within the captain himself. These qualities are often elusive and thus ascribed to something like charisma but their basis
is something more simplistic. The cave man, facing physical dangers, selected the tallest, strongest, and most brutal among then to be their leaders. These same qualities that allow such a man to defend the
group against large predators could be turned against any challenger in the group. This tradition extends to man's cultures today, where the leader that emerges is often a large, brutal man. It is only recently
that women have begun to emerge as the chosen leaders in countries around the world.
Once the cave man could survive without constant fear of attack by large predators, other qualities determined the selection of a leader for the group. When conflicts between groups could not be settled by one group leaving to find new territory, then war between groups developed to resolve the conflicts, and the leader who was shrewd and cunning was the winner. The political game of chess whereby bribery or psychological manipulation was an advantage was born, and man has hardly moved from that tradition either. Today, the political leader selected by the populace is most often a large, brutal, and cunning man. It is only recently that the ability to cooperate with one's neighbors has been shown to be a more effective trait. When the world as a whole suffers crop shortages and natural disasters, then war does not solve a these problems. The addition of new territory only brings with it new headaches. During times of stability, the population turns its attention to gain for every household. Each head of family is concerned about gathering assets and their status within the community. Any leadership battles during such times involves promises, a type of bribery. Self promoting politicians promise that the changes they will bring will increase each family's asset base and give this or that sub-group more benefits and prestige. This all too familiar political dance thus packs the halls of power with self promoting liars, who are hardly suited to address a crisis when it comes along.
Since what is facing the Earth in the short term will be an immense crisis, the old models for leaders will be lacking in the qualities that mankind will need. After the first few weeks after the cataclysms, the problem of looting gangs and limited supplies will be sorted out, and then mankind will be faced with different challenges. There are few parts of the globe currently beset with large predators, so physical strength and brutality are outdated as leadership qualities. In fact, rewarding a large, brutal man with a leadership position puts the group into catatonia, as all fear to offend the leader with ideas. Where starvation is endemic, worldwide, and supplies have run out, being shrewd and manipulative also gains the group nothing. What is there to steal? In a world without police or courts, justice against those who would steal or con others will be swift. The criminal, however clothed, will not be tolerated. Will the group elect a leader who makes promises but cannot deliver? Today this process continues for two reasons - the electoral system prevents removal of those who have been shown to be liars, or the country is under a dictatorship. But the world of the future, after the coming pole shift, will not tolerate such leaders. The electoral process will be shattered along with communications outside of the local area. Leadership will have to be earned, on a daily basis, as daily challenges emerge. Those who self promote by brutality, by attempting to intimidate, will die out and fail, as we have often explained, because their style of leadership assumes a steady support system. Where food production has collapsed, and food distribution is impossible, all are starving and only those groups where all cooperate will be healthy. The looting gang dies off when there is nothing left to loot, and cannot migrate on an empty stomach while on foot.
So what is left, among the models for leadership of mankind? Those that can elicit cooperation among survivors and those who are resourceful. Today, these are not the qualities of the official leadership, though times are changing. The tribal models, or those models that have developed alongside mankind's domesticated food production, during times of plenty, will not suffice. Organized religion fails as anything but a delusion of comfort, playing on man's fears and confusion but not offering solutions to distress. Attempts to intimidate followers will fail in desperate times, as rebellion will emerge. Established leadership who rose to prominence on hot air and self aggrandizement will be challenged by crisis and fail, thence to be ignored. What will be left in this void is the natural leader who will elicit cooperation and have ideas, be resourceful. These individuals are almost routinely ignored or taken advantage of in today's world. When the promise of besting one's neighbors exists, taking what they have by force or by cunning, the idea of securing greater cooperation pales. The cunning brute is selected as the leader. When traditional methods of solving problems suffices, those who lack creativity or intelligence fall prey to those with intense self interests, who bang the table loudly and insist that familiar problem solving methods must be followed. Tradition and familiarity and hot air win the battle. It will be the failure of these former methods of solving problems that will allow new leadership to emerge, and it will emerge from unexpected sources. We have predicted that children will often emerge to lead, as their innate creativity has not been bludgeoned out of them by years of ridicule. Woman will often emerge to lead, as their lot in life as something other than a strong, brutal male has forced them to use cooperate with the strong males in the vicinity for survival.
Can this type of new leadership be trained and inserted into human culture in the short term, to replace outdated forms of leadership? This would be resisted by the status quo, as it has been over the centuries. The new leadership styles can be rewarded for their successes, but not promoted. If promoted, it becomes the target of attacks by the current leadership, which will see a threat to its status. New leadership styles will come into their own as the old styles fail, and fail utterly, to address the crisis the world will face.