The Kind of Leaders Needed for a Democratic Society
Leaders are not made or born, but they are self-made and self-developed. Noel Tichy explains that leaders are not born but they are taught with the implication of making the choice to be taught and to follow the teachings. Leadership is a total sacrifice and not for privileges. A leader must motivate others to follow his vision, to support and achieve the goals and objectives that he sets. Leaders have to earn the followers' trust, respect, and confidence.Leadership is communicating people's worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves, according to Stephen R. Covey. This he explains further that the people/citizens must feel an intrinsic sense of worth (value) with unconditional love regardless of behaviour or performance. Covey also regards leadership as an “enabling art” that enables other arts and professions to work together in a nation, organisation or a family set-up. This is possible with the highest manifestations of four intelligences of all great achievers and leaders which are vision, discipline, passion and conscience.
Meanwhile, past performance/achievement or result orientation in the workplace is the very best indicator of what to look for in a candidate to represent an organisation. Besides, there are seven important qualities of leadership. The first is Vision: This happens to be the most important single quality of leadership. A leader sees into the future with ease to make the day-to-day decisions necessary for the same future expectations. Leaders have a clear idea of where they are heading to and what they are trying to achieve for themselves and the organization they are leading or representing at the end. Some of present African leaders got to power by accidents.
The second quality is foresight that makes leaders have ability to look into the future and get prepared or anticipate what might occur. It should not be confused with vision. This is done through what is called extrapolatory thinking, which is the ability to use facts to predict what is going to happen in the future (consequences of their actions) based on what is happening now.
Integrity is the third most respected quality of leader in every area of activity. It is the quality that guarantees all the other values. This quality distinguishes him or her from the crowd of rulers. The real core of integrity is truthfulness that is the importance of complete honesty in anything you do. Integrity requires you to tell the truth to all people in every situation and circumstance. Keeping your promise and excellent quality of your work or service are key parts of trustworthiness in integrity. A good leader with integrity is responsible and requires dealing in a straightforward way with the reality of the situation, based on real facts rather than hopes, assumptions or wishes.
Courage is another quality that leaders and achievers have in common. This is the risk capacity with every action taken in the achievement of their goals and responsibilities. It is an outward quality of a great leader as they move out of their comfort zones to take the necessary risks that are required to solve a problem. During a serious crisis, a leader will get all the information needed, make the decisions that are required and take the actions that are necessary and expected. This is what is called a true mark of leadership.
Humility is the fifth quality of leaders that have self confidence and self awareness to recognize the value of others without being threatened. With this attribute, it makes it simple for them to get results by using the strength and knowledge of those around them. No human being has all the answers to all problems. Humility makes a leader to recognize that he could make a mistake and is ready to give credit where it is due. A humble leader never stops learning and does not believe he knows everything there is to know. It is very difficult to see an arrogant person as a successful leader. Humble leaders only know how to do most of listening than talking.
Cooperation is another quality of effective leadership in their ability to work well with other counterparts. This is very essential to leadership success. This is always possible by firstly gaining the cooperation of other colleagues by making a commitment to relate well with them every time while working together. They are respected and liked by others.
Finally, leaders have to focus on what is most important, especially on the needs of the organisation or the situation. This is the ability to focus personal and corporate energies and resources in the most important areas of the activity. Leaders make everyone in the in the institution or organisation to be focused and concentrated on the most valuable use of their time and resources. Good leaders do not complain or criticize as they refuse to spend a single second worrying about something you cannot change - a past event.
Adewale T Akande,
An Author and Road Safety Traffic Consultant
based in Barcelona, Spain. [email protected] Tel;0034632511469 (Spain) / 002348125896631(Nigeria)