Leadership and Authority

David and Goliath book cover

I’ve been reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, which my daughter sent to me as a Christmas gift.

Here’s a quote from pp. 207-208 I thought was very insightful, especially in the light of numerous situations in the social/political arenas of our contemporary world:

Gladwell says,
          When people in authority want the rest of us to behave, it matters – first and foremost – how they behave.
This is called the “principle of legitimacy,” and legitimacy is based on three things.
First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice – that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another. (All bold and underline emphases mine.)

Can you name any situations in the forefront of today’s news cycles where this might be profitably applied?

Please share your thoughts!

111 thoughts on “Leadership and Authority”

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