Being a statesman imposes a variety of special requirements on the leader. Gabris and Nelson (2013) claim that “organization development is an eclectic discipline that includes organization psychology, business management, public administration, sociology, and political science” (p, 477). The moral act of statesmanship calls to the personal qualities of a leader and their ability to dare and take action. Purposefulness, adherence to principles, and awareness of their relevance to society are integral qualities of a leader. They are responsible for the performance of the organization in the most difficult and unfavorable management situations. Most importantly, by delegating the authority and resources necessary to solve a particular problem, the leader does not delegate responsibility for the result of those actions. The mistakes of a leader are more costly than the mistakes of those who follow him. In order for the necessary statesman qualities to manifest, the potential leader must be fluent in leading technologies, which greatly contribute to solving the problems and issues arising in the management of the organization.
Protect Endangered Wildlife from Illegal Trafficking
The National Whistleblower Center currently holds a grand campaign against the illegal trafficking of wild animals. According to their research, “in recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in wildlife crime, resulting in an extinction crisis that threatens species around the world” (Protect Endangered Wildlife from Illegal Trafficking 2021 para. 1). Tracking and convicting the wildlife traffickers proved to be incredibly difficult, as it requires strong evidence and a constant stream of insider information, as well as operative real-time responses. “Efforts to target and combat the illicit wildlife trade are hindered by the existence of sophisticated organized crime networks”, claims the NWC site (Protect Endangered Wildlife from Illegal Trafficking 2021 para. 2). In this case, only whistleblowers can help – they provide legal authorities with the evidence of the crime and reveal the involvement of seemingly law-abiding businesses and organizations in the trafficking. In order to convince a potential whistleblower to report the crimes, they must be sure they will not get any retaliation for their actions, and this is another issue the campaign is addressing.
How to Apply a Statesmanship Model in This Case
To properly address an issue as complicated as that, the leader’s thinking activity must be first and foremost based on systems thinking. Systems thinking is, essentially, an ability to see the synergy of a whole rather than just individual parts. Here it is both the basis and, to a large extent, a replacement for such highly valued leadership qualities as forecasting and intuition. “In cases of asymmetric information, the resource center to the power dynamic is information valued by both parties; one party simply has access to more valuable information than the other party” (p. 308), state Magee and Frasier (2014). To change the power dynamic, legal authorities have to develop multiple ways to get access to more crucial information. Another means to employ a statesmanship model here is to deliver the impact and consequences of wildlife trafficking to a bigger audience. A statesman could press on the amorality of the traffickers’ actions and, using his charisma and status, educate people about the dangers the trafficking brings to society.
Interpersonal Skills Necessary to Address the Issue
The wildlife trafficking crime network is highly organized, which results in great pervasiveness and a low rate of arrests. Therefore, to properly combat trafficking, a leader should have a set of interpersonal skills that would allow them to unite and inspire people under their command, as well as provide a sense of security. Many potential whistleblowers who hold valuable information would not convey it to the legal authorities for fear of retaliation. This issue is especially severe for the trafficking problem, as organized crime holds great power over different institutions in some countries. To counter the crime networks’ influence, the statesman must present his campaign as equally powerful to provide the means to secure the whistleblower’s safety. Magee and Frasier (2014) support that claim, saying that “power invigorates individuals, giving them a greater sense of agency, resoluteness in their attitudes, and confidence that they will achieve their goals” (p.310). This can only be achieved if the leader has the charisma and persuasiveness necessary for both leading people and keeping them in a strong union.
The Emotional Intelligence
The main task of a leader is to “ignite”, inspire, and arouse readiness for action. Intelligence or logic alone is unlikely to cope with this. To achieve this effect, the leader should possess some kind of intelligent behavior in the emotional field, which is called emotional intelligence. In the case of battling wildlife trafficking, a statesman would owe much of their potential success to emotional intelligence. As stated by Issah (2018), “a key determinant to the level of success is the degree to which the leader is able to communicate a need for the change to members of the organization” (p. 2). A well-organized emotional climate ensures that the subordinates of a leader would not succumb if a criminal organization tries to lure them. In addition, the consequences of animal trafficking can be gruesome, and this may lead to negativity, depression, and a difficult atmosphere in the collective. A leader who is not interested in the feelings of others would only create more dissonance by not providing conditions for the emotional recovery of their subordinates.
The theory of traits, also called “charismatic theory”, defines the ability to lead as a natural gift, the grace of God. A cursory glance at the Old Testament may give the impression that leadership, which is understood as the work of people aimed at coordinating and organizing collectives of workers, is a category that rarely coincides with divine will. However, that also does not mean that statesmanship goes against it. Control, in fact, is inherent to human nature and is one of the manifestations of the divine image. Obviously, for God, human management activity appears to be positive when its goal and methods of achievement correspond to biblical commandments. A leader is responsible in accordance with the gospel commandment – they must care for each member of the organization without paying attention to one’s negative personal qualities. Moreover, in the Bible, love for God, love for neighbor, and love for animals are interconnected, so saving animals is by any means a deed approved by God.
Leaders capable of being statesmen are essential to the successful management of modern enterprises in conditions of high uncertainty and high speed of ongoing transformations. It is these leaders who can effectively carry out modernization and introduce innovations. Different researches of behavioral models of leadership showed that, despite the differences in terminology, they all point to two main factors associated with leadership effectiveness. First is “the achievement orientation” which includes group structuring, organizational work, definition and achievement of goals, planning and management. The second is “ the interpersonal relationship” – which is aimed at building mutual trust, respect and concerns. A combination of those qualities allows a leader to effectively delegate authority, build strong alliances, as well as persuade, motivate and inspire not only subordinates but uninvolved people too. The presence of a true statesman is especially important for the confrontation of wildlife trafficking, as it requires elaborate planning, circumspective use of resources and the ability to maintain the security of the whistleblowers.
Gabris, G. T., & Nelson, K. L. (2013). Transforming Municipal Boards into Accountable, High-Performing Teams: Toward a Diagnostic Model of Governing Board Effectiveness. Public Performance & Management Review, 36(3), 472–495. Web.
Issah, M. (2018). Change Leadership: The Role of Emotional Intelligence. SAGE Open, 8(3). Web.
Magee, J. C., & Frasier, C. W. (2014). Status and Power: The Principal Inputs to Influence for Public Managers. Public Administration Review, 74(3), 307–317. Web.
National Whistleblower Center Registered 501(c)(3). (2021). Protect Endangered Wildlife from Illegal Trafficking. National Whistleblower Center. Web.