ISSUE-142

In business, education, and government, it is always appropriate to remain skeptical of new leaders until those leaders show that they are worthy of trust.


Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.


Should people remain skeptical of new leaders until they demonstrate their reliability? Some people hold that they should remain skeptical. But I think in most cases, it is wise not to always be skeptical.


Admittedly, it is beneficial to maintain an appropriate level of skepticism about leaders. This is because we need to be able to think independently at all times and not follow the crowd. This is especially true in democratically elected governments. In the United States, for example, the president is elected by the people. The president elected can be an experienced professional politician, like Joe Biden, but he or she could also start from being an actor, like Reagan, or a businessman, like Trump. No matter how successful they were in their previous fields, presidents in the latter category are rookies in the presidency. So these staffers in the administration could potentially be in serious trouble if they consistently take orders from the new president. Imagine if Fauci, the U.S. epidemiologist, had not questioned Trump's level of competence in facing the Covid 19 pandemic; the current state of the epidemic in the United States might have been even worse.


That said, we cannot always doubt new leaders either, because that would hinder the functioning of the organization. Still using Trump as an example, imagine if every member of the administration was skeptical when he first took office, this would not only stifle the introduction of wrong policies, but also more correct policies, and the stable functioning of the government would be seriously affected.


In addition, there is a paradox in this proposal. That is the relationship between the new leader demonstrating trustworthy qualities and the trust of the people. If people are always skeptical of new leaders, how will they be able to unleash their talents and demonstrate their trustworthiness? It is true that people are skeptical of new leaders in order to gain a higher level of security. People need to see the trustworthiness of a new leader to be reassured. However, within the limits of control, people should trust the leader more than anything else. First, this is because, in most cases, the leader has demonstrated strong performance in the previous job to become the leader of the new job. Second, in many positions, the perception is that the cost of waiting until the leader demonstrates trustworthy characteristics is greater than the cost incurred by the new leader making mistakes. This is especially true in areas where the impact is far-reaching. Take education for example. Imagine the president of a university wants to introduce a new policy to improve the employment rate of students after graduation. The effect of this policy will not be evaluated until the students have graduated in four years, and every year the policy is in place, there is a year of delay for students. If people want to wait for new leaders to demonstrate their abilities, there are bound to be students who will be negatively impacted by the lack of this new policy in the process.


In conclusion, while we should be skeptical of leaders, we should not always be skeptical of incoming leaders in order to keep the organization running smoothly and to give new leaders the opportunity to show what they can do reliably.


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