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How leadership character shapes the market
So the economy is heading for the pits... again.
The markets react to the slightest hint of bad news, good news, indifferent news, rumour and just occasionally, fact.
I was having a conversation with a business leader yesterday over coffee and we got to wondering why so many people jump on the bandwagons of bear and bull markets when there's little or no substantive factual information to support such reactions... excepting that by doing so they actually create the facts after the fact as it were. Confused? So were we.
Especially when the bulk of the markets' reactions to the speculation is created by young, go-getter, mostly money-driven Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers who have zero actual experience running businesses. The only thing they can rely on are the standard formula. But even that doesn't explain everything. Perhaps the fuel of market reaction is more subtle, are they responding to the leadership character of these organizations?
In 2002, Jim Collins wrote an excellent article for Fast Company Magazine asking if the economy was built to flip? And states that the truth is: "The problem isn't the market's rise or fall. The problem is people who react to events, rather than seek to create something great."
Is there an underlying flaw in the economies of the world? Or is it the erosion of leadership character in the organizations and those 'money-hungry' young traders are simply responding to something intangible. We have ample evidence that senior leaders in several of the world's richest and biggest institutions are selfish, egotistical and extrinsically motivated - focused entirely on the bottom line to the exclusion of the people who actually create that bottom line.
Why is the world economy so concerned with how the markets are reacting instead of how to (re)develop the appropriate leadership character that will create real wealth that is sustainable beyond next quarter's results?