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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

National discordance

Zimbabwe elections have been in and out of the news in the last two and a half weeks. We are currently enjoying a strike called by the MDC in an effort to force the announcement of the presidential election. One of the interesting observations has been the psychological reaction of people to the uncertainty of the result. People are unwilling to make decisions, commit themselves to anything and a general apathy exists in the conversations and actions of people. It’s as though with the lack of clear direction (vision cast by leadership) that the nation has slipped into a large-scale state of chaos. It has been said that where there is no vision the people perish. It’s as though the collective anxiety brought on by the situation has created a morass of confusion in which people struggle to function. Until a clear direction is available it’s likely to persist. Direction will result from announcement of the results, strong leadership or general acceptance of the de facto situation (i.e. we have a leader who is ruling without a parliament, albeit by the rules set in place in our constitution for an electoral period, and there are many words available to describe that).

While this is a national phenomenon, I would hazard a guess that a similar problem occurs in a business, company or family with an analogous situation. Where there is no clear leadership and vision everyone does their own confused thing with no synchronised outcome. Cut the head off a snake and it will writhe about in an uncoordinated manner until it dies; same with chickens, humans, nations, businesses and families. No leader, no vision, no future.

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