In October 2009, William Deresiewicz, a former professor at Yale University, told students of the American Military Academy at West Point that there is a crisis of leadership because leaders no longer have time for reflection. This leads them to merely re-brand old ideas:
What we don’t have … are thinkers. People who can think for themselves. People who can formulate a new direction: for the country, for a corporation or a college, for the army – a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things. People, in other words, with vision.
Australia’s political leaders lack vision because they won’t let themselves, or anyone around them, have the time to map it out. Crises must be solved now; a response must be drafted immediately; action must be taken. Then the next day, the cycle begins again.
The long term has vanished for the sake of the quick fix. As quickly as leaders come, they go. Yet the one who stays the longest will be the one who has the vision to talk about Australia in the long term.