In every walk of life in a society leaders materialize, whether born, trained or unwillingly thrust by design or circumstances. However, the person who reigns the country or the nation matters most to us as his actions affect our living.
Political leaders survive as long as their people want them, this happens in a democracy. Autocrats, dictators and non democratic rulers survive as long as they want to, or until providence overtakes them through unsuspected circumstances; I would therefore downsize their consideration as leaders, for most of us live in a free world.
Normally political leaders very skillfully communicate with their followers on a deep, emotional level. They articulate a compelling or captivating vision, arouse strong feelings amongst them. That is what makes them successful. They do not do it on their own, have mostly indoctrinated people behind them who believe in their cause and propel them because of the charisma and ingenuity affiliated with them. When the leader articulates, they feel and listen, as if they are a god on earth. That is something which develops, grows and appears natural in their leader, just like being a natural athlete.The leader connects and empathizes with everyone and makes them feel just as important as anyone else.
There are as many leaders as there are countries to govern. It is not for me to mention and categorize leaders as good or bad. However, as a citizen, I certainly would want my country to possess a good self actualized leader. Self actualization is the highest form of human growth, someone who is self actualized is a fully functioning human being. Let me generalize a few essentials in a leader.
- A good political leader does not take what is similar to his views as facts and base his decisions on that. He uses reliable and unfiltered information to make judgments and to come up with resolutions.
- A good leader stands above any specific religious or political views of his own and is independent of any attachment to a specific agenda. His personal beliefs become his private matters and he learns to leave them out of the door once he steps into a leadership role.
- A good leader is able to move above and beyond any egoistic and primitive need for power, attention, or establishing his personal agendas and works with the intention of good-for-all.
- Is not into hiding the truth for the sake of looking good. A good leader says it as it is even if it feels uncomfortable for many to hear it.
- Is focused on specific, achievable, and measurable goals and demands outcomes. His goals, whether small or large, are reasonable and achievable and are directed towards the long term results, not quick and temporary fixes that may backfire.
- A good leader helps people understand that they are accountable for their society and its outcome and teaches them to make compromises and responsible choices.
- Does not pay attention to being politically correct but ethically so.
- Does not make false promises but realistic ones. A good leader makes a sustainable promise and is a man of his words.
- Is honest even if it does not get approval. People know where they are standing with an authentic leader.
- Thinks globally and acts locally. He realizes that in order for us to live in prosperity as a powerful and blessed country, reasonable steps need to be taken to make sure others achieve the same goals.
- A good leader is secure enough with himself to take personal responsibility when one is needed.
- A good political leader has a healthy emotional IQ and has learned to move above his emotions, conditioning, and his fixations to specific outcomes to think logically and globally.
- A good leader is thirsty for factual, expert oriented and unbiased knowledge all the time and on all levels.
- Does not make himself look good by assaulting others. A leader that can be trusted does not take others down for himself to go up. He tries to build bridges rather than destroy them.
Eloquence in political leaders is desirable but not necessary. Too much is made of it even as the real thing disappears. Good leaders live in the real world. They don’t insist on grand ideologies they can squish down on your heads. They know the facts and work within them. They respect reality.
A depressing script has appeared recently in some of the countries ruled by a few of their elected leaders
.The most common trait has been to transform the country from a secular democracy into a theocratic, nationalist one that dominates its minorities, irrespective of massive unemployment, rampant rural distress, soaring losses of small and medium businesses, depriving sections rights and colossal corruption without accountability and coupled with incessant attack on institutions. Damaging social fabric and silencing the voices of dissent by pasting them with ludicrous agenda-driven labels.
Grace and decorum have become things of the past. Nauseating noises, endless loud rhetoric and a crass narrative have unfortunately lowered the dignity of discourse, primarily propagated right from the top echelons of power in the government. Event-driven propaganda has only ushered superfluous cosmetic change. Real issues of the people like unemployment, farm crisis, economic mismanagement, social empowerment remain untouched and unresolved.
Midnight knocks by the taxmen at the door of ordinary businessmen have become a norm. Fresh investments are at low. Economic progress is at a standstill, All this has created an atmosphere of economic despair and hurt the livelihoods of the vast majority of the people. Even serious questions about data have clouded credibility in the global economic space.
Absolute lack of clarity in foreign policy, be it with the neighbors or with other important countries. The turbulent relationship and lack of coherence in dealing with specific issues in the international arena has marred the foreign policy.
What has made such leaders autocrats in these countries? In the most narrow sense, it is a ruler who governs with absolute power. Their disregard for norms, disdain for dissent (from the media and elsewhere), and dedication to strengthening their own executive power at the expense of state institutions designed to curb it, have made them emblematic of the democratic deterioration.
When the voters aren’t presented with candidates who look like real leaders, what do you do? Pick the closest to the ideal? Fall back on the practical? Make do with what you have, which is what we usually do? Do remember, politicians who can’t turn the dots into a picture are not artists but failed pointillists. They don’t present a full picture. In the end it’s all just dots. Do you want to vote for a dot?
Please go through the images to pass your judgement on some of the present day leaders: