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Looking to the Future – Leadership

The first article in our series ‘Looking to the Future‘ is Leadership. Probably the one area where everyone will have an opinion and want a say. I know I will.

Before we are even up and running someone will have emerged as the leader. Perhaps the person with the guns, perhaps the food stores or the land. Regardless of how that person came to be in charge there will come a time when people will start to question that situation. This happens all the time and while today the issue is resolved with minimal bloodshed there is a real possibility that the initial disagreements will be resolved ‘the old fashioned way’.

Perhaps it is the correct way, after all we are where we are today because of that technique over the centuries and it is only lately as political power has come more to the fore that out society has started to fall apart with freedoms lost, people needing their hands held and reliant on a not very benevolent state. Just my opinion btw. However, by considering what we are looking for we should be able to minimize that. So what options do we have?

History shows us that there are several different ways that power is held. Simplistically put;

  • Powerful Leader
  • Elected Head
  • Elected Council
  • Citizen representation

Just after an event I would guess that we would have a powerful leader in position. It may even be a benevolent tyrant but for all intents and purposes it will be a tyrant. As before this may be historical due to circumstances surrounding the event or it may even be that there has already been a power struggle, perhaps violent, with the current leader gaining his position that way.

This may be working fine and may not be causing any major issues but at this stage when people have time to think and reflect usually there are a few dissenters who will want things done differently. It is human nature. We all want to be left alone if possible but if there is going to be someone in charge we want it to be someone you really trust. That usually means you.

In this situation people normally would want to be left alone to look after themselves. Their family leader would manage their group and interact with others in your local area to trade and form bonds. Your leader would still be your leader until your group grows to a level where someone will challenge that. In a community it would be earlier than if it was an extended family.

So, soon after an event your little group starts to grow beyond small group of people, each with their own family, food and water supply, all which are providing for their needs. Bartering is going on plus the usual friendly aid that goes on when a small group gets together, help with harvest, help rebuilding after a fire etc. you will find your local community will be managed in a similar way to the Mafia now. A few groups of people with a powerful leader who has absolute control over their own group which will be driven by that leaders decisions alone. How they decide is of course down to them. Some will dictate, some will take counsel and some will have a small group to make such decisions.

Once however your group starts to look further afield you will encounter others, some members of larger groups some members of smaller groups, perhaps even individuals. The type of leader required to make the most of a situation will change from the type of leader that saved you from the event and brought you to a level of self sufficiency to someone that needs to be more diplomatic yet strong to avoid being taken advantage of. One who will command respect from others outside your group. That could very well be the same person as your current leader but regardless you may not easily be able to change the leader.

What happens though depends on many things. The current leaders view being probably the most significant. If the leader does not want to relinquish the position then there is clearly an issue. If there is only a few of you in the group then challenging and changing the leader may not gain any real benefits. In addition if the real reason that the leader is leader because it is their land, tools, stores etc. They would not relinquish control over that easily as they are protecting their investment.

In conclusion though at this stage you would want someone who would be able to maximise the benefit from your group in the interaction with other groups. You have only limited options, staying with who you have, a coup, negotiation or leaving to join another. It will be impossible to predict what will happen but one thing is certain change is inevitable and those that stand in the way get squished.

The changes necessary to move on and evolve into a larger community depends on so many things it will be challenging for any leader but it is clearly a real leader that you require. Make sure you have a good one, one that will listen to others and yet is able to negotiate with outsiders. The sooner after you start meeting others the better.

Next up is Security.

1 comment to Looking to the Future – Leadership

  • rush2112

    very thoughtful piece. I have given this some thought after someone told me once they thought I would be a good leader after the event. I told him to stuff it, I dont want to lead anyone and dont want to be lead. I think most folks who survive the event will be of a similar mindset, ” hey I made it this far, I dont need you tellin me what to do.” Personally, I think the police are the biggest threat. They have organization, communication, leadership, and weapons. They will take what they want and if one is useful they may keep you around as kind of a second class citizen, working for them, doing what your told. No thanks. No offense to any law enforecement types out there. Just basing this opinion on the way police here in the US act now. They are very militaristic and confrontational, more than happy to disregard individual rights knowing there is nothing to be done. You want to report – go ahead report it to the SGT who trained me.

    Having said that, I’m hoping to set up a council govt, wherein each family gets one representative at the council. Those reps then make decisions based on consensus. I know its not perfect, but better than being lead by dictator/strong man.

    Live free or die.

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