Leadership and Politics

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I admire good leadership. It is a key ingredient to a great organisation. It is one of the main things which makes or breaks a group. Unfortunately, it is sorely lacking in a lot of people nowadays. I know there are some people with great leadership skills and capabilities, but it seems to be getting rarer and rarer. A lot of 'leaders' we have now seem to concentrate a lot more on covering their 'asses' (forgive the crude language) instead of making things better for others. It appears that the current climate of society is utterly unsuitable to produce true leadership since it has IMHO, been reduced to a game of politics, which I utterly despise.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not so naive to believe that politics is not part and parcel of leadership. Still, one CAN be ideallistic no? The best kind of leadership is the kind where one puts the interest of the entire group ahead of ones position. Respect comes not from having a lack of faults, but from the fact that one portrays good leadership qualities that make one fit to lead. In a way, society is to blame for expecting only perfect people to be in positions of power. Yes, it is important to have a competent person in charge, but it is even more important that THAT person is working for the good of the people, not just himself. I'm not saying all leaders are in it just to abuse their position, but there appears to be quite a huge number that do. Perhaps this is subjective, but I think it we need more capable, morally upright and virtuous leaders in every field.

Vision is important, and I think this is particularly lacking in young people today. Many don't know where they're heading or what they want to achieve, so they just go through the motions, achieving mediocre results at best. Again, not everyone is like that, but it seems that there are less and less such young people rising up. Without vision the people perish, and to be honest, that is what appears to be happening slowly in many different areas. Leaders should strive to achieve greater good, not merely fulfill obligations.

Politics is the "Intrigue or maneuvering within a political unit or group in order to gain control or power" (Dictionary.com). To quote further from the dictionary, politics is "The often internally conflicting interrelationships among people in a society." This particularly applies to positions where a person is either in public office or is considered 'influential'. I despise politics, simply because it is largely unethical, extremely self-centered, immoral and detrimental to the people in the long run. Some people treat it as a game, but one with dire consequences. The rules of the game are simple: There are no rules as long as you don't get caught. This simple creed has led to a lot of underhanded tactics, unwarranted malice and personal attacks, all of which do nobody any good.

It is simply a fact that leaders of high positions would have to grapple with politics. However, I believe that the leader is the one who sets the rules for him/herself. Again, I may have an euphemistic view, but although people feel it will fail, I do not see why an ethical person with honesty and integrity cannot go far in any political position. True, there's a lot of red tape that can be easily resolved by a 'not-so-ethical' method. Is it wrong and foolish then to choose NOT to do it? Perhaps in the eyes of most people it is, but to me, it is not. It would take a lot of guts and courage to go the more difficult path of choosing the right thing even if it causes a lot of 'unnecessary' difficulties. I doubt many would concur.

This is just my opinion on leadership and politics, so I will not say that whatever written here should be adopted by all. However, after examining the current situation and considering my own disposition, I still strongly believe in this euphemistic view. Leaders should have vision, especially those in political positions. This coupled with the passion to lead, not just with themselves in mind, but the good of the people, is a good recipe for a successful organisation.

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Posted by Gerald at 4/20/2006 02:35:00 AM