Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I’m not sure how else to put this, but heads of state around the world are making catastrophic miscalculations in their national decisions.
They’re doing this because they’re using the wrong data to run their countries. National leaders are operating exclusively with outdated, classical economic metrics such as GDP and consumer spending.
Now, don’t get me wrong: Leaders need these metrics, but they’re severely limited. That’s because, while those metrics report what their people are buying and selling, the metrics don’t report what citizens are thinking; leaders just don’t know their people’s “will.”
And understanding the will of a population is more important than ever, because if knowledge is power, then citizens have unprecedented power now with iPhones, the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, and so forth.
It wasn’t too long ago that many people around the world lived in a virtual information blackout and could easily be manipulated by leaders who controlled information from the top on down. No more. In a world of exploding social media, that power will never come back to leaders.
Let me sound an alarm bell here: If world leaders don’t change their operating systems, all countries -- including the United States -- could face revolution. Some already have, as you know.
Here’s my take on why: Heads of state are often wrong about what’s on the mind of their citizens, so they run the risk of building policies and strategies based upon errant assumptions -- when this occurs, leaders only make things worse.
That is exactly what’s happening now. Look around you: The world really is coming apart because of lousy leadership by presidents, prime ministers, chancellors, kings, and queens. And since every country is connected to every other country more closely now than ever before, lousy leadership by one head of state affects each country and world citizen to some degree. In fact, worldwide suffering, according to the Gallup World Poll, increased from 9% to 13% from 2007 to 2009 and hasn’t budged since.
Gallup suggests that heads of state need to quickly adopt ongoing, consistent, quarterly reporting of behavioral economics that report the precise movements of the “will” of their nations. To this end, Gallup researchers created 100 critical questions that reveal almost everything national leadership needs to know if they want to be properly equipped to prevent unrest: suffering; unemployment; fear of crime; corruption; tendencies toward instability, chaos, and revolution; brain drain; and loss of entrepreneurial and innovative spirits, to name a few.
Gallup’s World Poll also closely monitors a society’s most promising aspects: wellbeing, trust in institutions, job creation, economic confidence, community engagement, brain gain, thriving, tolerance, hope, and optimism -- all the things that create positive energy.
Heads of state everywhere, if you want to run your countries the right way and stave off unrest, chaos, and revolution, I invite you to move now to in-depth, quarterly monitoring of Gallup’s core indicators. Please have your embassy contact us immediately if you want to construct a new leadership operating system that includes all the latest survey technology within the growing science of behavioral economics -- more specifically, Gallup economics.
When heads of state get better at leading with Gallup economics versus outdated, traditional economic metrics, they will experience real human development in their countries. And the whole world will be a lot better for it.