How does this bear up with regard to the present presidental election race? Leadership?
I’ve recently had a poke at the teaching profession and how it could be affecting world progress and now I would like to have a look at our leadership from world heads of country and downwards. It has been said that leadership cannot be taught. It is perhaps something you are born to but may require some coaching to bring it out. Certain training organisations and management consultants profess to their ability to make leaders out of most people. Is it possible in ancient Macedonia that a Greek management consultant could have said this? ‘Alexander? He wasn’t so great until we got hold of him! His initial idea of leadership was to find out where people were going and then walk in front of them!’ The armed forces, well, certainly the UK ones have a very good handle on leadership qualities. Servicemen will not follow just anyone just because they have a badge of rank. There must be a common respect upwards and downwards and this respect has to be earned. Staff assessments are carried out every three months and sometimes very scathing remarks are made. i.e. ‘No person would follow this man except out of idle curiosity!’ Okay, let’s start at the top. Persons in elected office are often termed as world leaders. This is possibly confusing as in themselves they may not be leaders. In the bigger countries an army of advisors, speech writers, dress groomers et al are at hand with prompts waiting to provide the right response to the ‘leader’ in his or her role as a mouthpiece. To the populace at large this seems as if the leader has all the wisdom, experience and confidence that they require to serve and protect them. Have a look at this sketch from Rowan Atkinson and Griff Rhys Jones to see this in action!
Presidential Advice, click here.
Most of these ‘leaders’ are the product of democracy where all the little people, every few years, dependent on their constitution, swallow the placebo of voting them in then have no further influence on what decisions they make until re-election time. The question of ‘Why George W Bush? And why twice?’ rests uneasy on the US electorate to this day. But what is the alternative to democracy? Dictatorship is one alternative and generally the dictator has obtained power through force, military coup or insidious coercion and gradual change of laws to make it impossible to remove them from office. Sometimes dictatorship works but rarely for long. A benign dictatorship is good as in the case of the early Margaret Thatcher but power corrupts and total power corrupts totally. The one thing about dictatorship is that a period of relative stability is created. People know routinely what to expect on a day to day basis. It is a strange fact that some Russians would prefer Stalin to return regardless of the atrocities he carried out, some of the Iraqis feel the same about Saddam Hussein and the Chinese about Mao Tse Tung. The problem is we all need leadership and good or bad it does give us direction. That follows all the way down to the individual. A lot of people will agree that a lack of leadership in the workplace leads to upset, confusion and serious effects on productivity. It is something that companies should seriously look at in their staffing needs. Unfortunately some firms promote people based on technical ability and expect leadership to follow. Some of them cannot even recognise leaders in their midst annd suffer accordingly. We should all look at the syndrome known as lifeboat mentality. This has been observed on numerous occasions following a shipwreck for whatever reason. The threat to life in that situation sometimes brings the most unlikely characters to the fore regardless of their position before getting into the lifeboat. A long term veteran Ship’s Captain may follow the instructions of a pastry chef if it can be established that he would be better in providing their salvation. One of the main characteristics of a leader is confidence, in themselves and the ability to inspire confidence in others. It a fact that you cannot successfully lead a cavalry charge, if you feel uncomfortable on a horse! The main consideration of a good leader is not to create followers but to create more leaders and sit back confident in the belief that they are working towards a better future for all. Great leaders see this as the only reward they need.