El próximo líder estadounidense

Cambridge – La campaña presidencial estadounidense concentra la atención de todo el mundo. El hecho de que los tres últimos candidatos incluyan a una mujer, un negro y un hombre de edad avanzada que frecuentemente ha desafiado a su propio partido indica que Estados Unidos, tras una pérdida de popularidad durante los años de la administración Bush, conserva la capacidad de reinventarse a sí mismo. Pero el próximo presidente tendrá que reconocer que la naturaleza del liderazgo también está cambiando.

La revolución de la información está transformando la política y las organizaciones. Las jerarquías se están haciendo más planas y los trabajadores del conocimiento responden a incentivos y propuestas políticas diferentes. Las encuestas muestran que hoy en día la gente es menos deferente con la autoridad en las organizaciones y en la política. El poder blando –la capacidad de obtener lo que se quiere mediante el convencimiento y no la coerción o el pago—está aumentando en importancia.

Incluso los militares se enfrentan a estos cambios. El Pentágono informa que los instructores del ejército estadounidense “dan menos gritos” porque la generación actual responde mejor a quienes desempeñan “un papel más parecido al de un consejero”. El éxito militar contra los terroristas y los insurgentes exige que los soldados convenzan, y no nada más que maten. Los teóricos del liderazgo hablan de “liderazgo compartido” y de “liderazgo distribuido”, y presentan imágenes de líderes en el centro de un círculo y no en la cima de una jerarquía.

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