Monday, June 8, 2009

Quality of Leadership???

“Leadership” is a peculiar thing. When you are appointed a prefect in school, you are a leader. Never mind the fact that you are a lousy leader. It goes into your resume that you are a prefect and you will enjoy the respect that comes with being a prefect. But being a prefect, you are not in a position to do damage to many others.

Like wise, when you enter politics and you are chosen to be a candidate and for some reason you win and become and MP and then you become a Minister, you are also viewed as a leader. Never mind the fact that you have absolutely no professional qualifications to be a Minster of your Ministry or that you are absolutely inefficient. You will still be seen as a leader and you will enjoy all the privileges that come with – handshaking, respect, perks, etc, etc. In fact, regardless of your thinking capacity and mental ability, even the press will report what you have to say on matters you are completely clueless because you are a Minister.

It also does not seem to matter that you do not work at your Ministry on what you are responsible for because you are very busy meeting your party people, giving speeches, posing for the camera and following the PM wherever he goes. It also does not matter that you do not read beyond the mainstream newspapers and that the last serious book you read was when you graduated from your University. It really does not matter because people will still give you the red carpet treatment because you are a leader. And the PM probably is not able to sack you because you wield influence and power within the party – hence your excuse to be an honorable imbecile. You are not to be blamed though. It is the people’s choice and they deserve you.

To the thinking public, it is frightening how the quality of leadership affects the well being of the people for generations and generations. Beyond the titles, the red carpet and the appearance of power lies the real power to do real good or real damage.

The disgusting and dangerous thing about political leadership is that once you get into a comfortable leadership position, the “momentum and expediency” of politics WILL advance you in your political career however incompetent or useless you are. It is this political momentum that makes many leaders think that it is their birthright to be the elitist, powerful, and rich till either old age, or tragedy or death brings them back to earth. But until such time arrives, people suffer. People suffer, I suppose because they chose to.

It is a tough task trying to identify quality leadership because there is so much stage managing in our midst - I am talking all round. The political culture smells so bad that one cannot be faulted in hiding in the toilet - without even having flushed the toilet yet! A friend said that we deserve the stench because we had mortgaged our thinking capacities a long time ago...and our courage and our dignity as a human being. I do not know.

It is a humorous aspect of human history I suppose, how charlatans and show masters are often rewarded. One big club of conspirators to maintain their influence, wealth and power in their midst. The ones that can make a difference are often sidelined. Or maybe, the ones that can make a difference are not willing to be part of the circus of fools. Maybe these people are not fascinated by the glitter of power and wealth and hence they remain free and true to their souls?

I will not, however underestimate the power of collective goodness and the natural laws to temper the progress of the pretenders.

Peace !

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