The Middle East rebellions make me think of when organizations get unionized. I’m no big fan of unions, but I also believe that in most cases they wouldn’t have any ground to stand on if leadership were doing the right things. If the leaders of that organization were providing leadership that served both the people and the organization their ‘most important asset’ wouldn’t be unhappy. In fact, it’s commonly known that happy employees who believe they’re being taken care of and treated fairly will give their best at work. They will give more of their discretionary effort to their leaders which in turn increases the success of all involved.
Again, if leaders are serving their people well then employees have no reason to rebel. Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have shown us what people will do in a country with self-serving leadership. A benevolent dictator rarely has anything to worry about. Consider the recent demonstration attempts in Saudi Arabia. Even though King Abdullah isn’t necessarily a benevolent leader and things aren’t perfect, he is generally well-liked among Saudis. And we see that a significant rebellion couldn’t take hold.
This should be encouraging to leaders who are at least trying to do the right things. If your people generally like you and trust that you have their best intentions and the organization’s in mind you can breathe a little easier. You’ll probably not have an uprising any day soon.