In national values assessments across the globe, people profess to holding values such as “trust” and “accountability” as their core personal values.
How then can we live our personal values on a national scale, exhibiting them to the world through our actions? Our research clearly indicates that fear continues to rule. According to the 2011 US National Assessment, Americans are focused primarily on “blame”, on placing fault with others for a lack of progress and cohesion. The political system has stagnated because leaders fail to put aside personal fears and act for the greater good. Polarized political parties cannot agree on what to do, and people do not believe they can count on leaders to act with integrity. It seems American leaders can come together to avert crisis, we have witnessed it time and time again. Yet once the imminent threat has passed, it is back to partisan politics as usual.
So, how does a nation move from “blame” to “accountability?”
Values-based leadership is helping to create answers in Iceland. As this nation seeks new approaches for dealing with the economic collapse of 2008, they have turned to the values requested by citizens as a foundation upon which to build their future. Iceland is adapting the constitution based on the feedback from the values assessment and is creating online social networking to encourage civic engagement. More than 1,000 citizens from voter registrations are working to help the government rebuild a values-driven nation.
“The programme we are looking at is to provide a road map…to avoid the revolution and perpetuate a transformation…to prove that change is possible…to initiate national transformation beginning with the leadership from all spheres… At the completion of the symposium participants must at least recognise that there is hope and that we have the capacity, potential and resources to make Trinidad and Tobago a better place for the generations to come.”