[January 19, 2014] Over the past several days, there has been heightened rhetoric about the lack of trust and confidence in the U.S. government as a whole and the failure of its senior leadership in particular. This time it was due to the highlighting of NSA’s data collection methods and the situation is unfortunate because all successful societies operate to a large degree on trust.
Last month I wrote about the relationship minefields between our government and the private business sector – Government Politics and Business. The obvious problem as noted here was that legitimate businesses incur economic risks because of their association with the government.
Yet, the problem here is much larger than it appears on the surface and has a direct impact on how our senior civilian leaders are handling the situation. Government senior leaders have been very slow in addressing the problems such as the NSA data collection, IRS targeting of political groups, the ACA website problem, and so on. Failure to hold anyone accountable aggravates the problem.
Furthermore, there has been an ever increasing trend of government dependency through programs to act as a sort of “safety net” for the needy. At issue is an increased dependency and awareness of the government and an increasing lack of trust, has created a storm of complex problems for everyone.
Senior executive leaders in non-governmental agencies and the military now find themselves having to deal with the fallout. Senior military officials in particular are tied directly to government officials because of their job requirements.
One thing that we do know is now an opportunity for experienced, thoughtful, and respectful senior leaders to step forward to build trust and confidence. Our society is looking for trustworthy leadership and we have come away wanting.