Corruption in Leadership Today
The Most Pressing Leadership Issue
The issues that come with leadership are numerous and complex. By nature, the issues associated with leadership have no easy fix and often take years of consistent determined hard work to resolve. The insurmountable complexity of negative leadership issues often causes people to despair, or more often, to turn a blind eye. However difficult, resolution of these issues is necessary to ensure the health of those that follow and is worth the effort to wrestle them down to a positive resolution. This paper discusses corruption as the most pressing leadership issue of today and begins to propose resolution.
The Issue: Corruption
The most pressing leadership issue of today is corruption, or rather, a lack of integrity. It seeps into every facet of leadership with no respect for nation or organization. The temptation to abuse the authority that comes with leadership for self-gratification or advancement overtakes the leader and corruption is born. Milgram (1974) shows the full tragedy of corrupt leadership in his statement “Nothing is more dangerous to human survival than malevolent authority combined with the dehumanizing effects of buffers.” The effects of corrupt leadership are devastating and long lasting. Some studies show that the increase in corruption is directly linked to the economic growth and political stability of a country (Mo 2001). The higher the corruption rate, the lower the growth rate. While there are numerous examples of this, the government affairs of Nigeria explicitly exhibit this concept in that “corrupt practices among the political leadership class have resulted… in undermining the growth and stability of the nation’s trading and financial system” (Ogbeidi 2012). This corruption manifests itself in the form of bribes, as well as other self-serving actions. The financial and social distress of Nigeria can be directly linked to corrupt, failed leadership and as a result, they continue to be a weak nation.
Corruption has a ripple effect. When it begins at the top, the effects trickle down and society as a whole suffers to some degree. While the results of corrupt leadership in Nigeria are somewhat measureable, there is no measurement standard for the psychological and emotional damage inflicted by victims of corruption.
Corruption is a global issue and may only be kept at bay by strong leaders with the tenacity to rebel against this alarmingly increasing norm. No amount of legislation or policing can resolve this issue. The elimination of corruption may only be accomplished through educating and creating a culture of integrity amongst leaders. In the realm of Christendom this objective is reached by aggressively training people to understand that Godly rebellion is a core necessity of Christianity. One must actively rebel against cultural norms that lead to corruption.
The issue of corruption is immense and cannot be resolved quickly. However, it is possible to reduce the amount of corruption in a culture if its citizens agree to implement moral teaching that opposes corrupt practices. The war against corruption must begin at a local level.
Milgram, S. (1974). Obedience to Authority. New York, NY: Harper and Row.
Mo, P. H. (2001). Corruption and Economic Growth. Journal of Comparative Economics , 76.
Ogbeidi, M. (2012). Political Leadership and Corruption in Nigeria since 1960: A Socio-economic Analysis. Journal of Nigeria Studies , 1 (2), 21-22.