Friday, November 30, 2007

Leadership 101

Are leaders born or are they made? Apart from Hercules and other mythical figures, I have never seen or heard about born leaders. Gandhi, Churchill, Washington and other great leaders of our time, were individuals who were forced to fight. We must exclude leaders of Medieval and Renaissance era, in my view they either wanted to plunder wealth or force their religion on others. Most of them are of noble breed, where leadership is force feed using a silver spoon. And then, there are leaders like Genghis Khan who grew up in a politically unstable and volatile era. It’s their environment which played a crucial role rather than their birth.

Given the argument, that leaders are made. What makes them a great leader? A few good qualities of a good leader are
a.Ruthlessness
b.My way or highway attitude
c.Me first everything else next
d.Ability to handle stress with a steady mind
e.Charisma
f.Vision
g.Innovativeness
h.Plan and execution

There might be other criteria but I guess this covers the majority. Now the question is how does one develop these qualities? Or do these qualities depend on an individual’s upbringing and hence it is hard to develop during the later half. We all know based on the standard of our life, we can be categorized into Upper, Middle or Lower class. If it so happens that you are from an upper class, then right from the beginning you are forced to look down at others. The feeling is that everyone below, are there to work for you. Thus, the good qualities of a good leader naturally grow with you. So you might score 100 in qualities a to e; and on other you might be in the high 80’s. The next group is the lower class, who got nothing to lose. Life is a struggle everyday. So in a way, the above leadership qualities bonds with them naturally. It’s their survival; it’s them against the world. You have an option, you either use others as ladder to climb up in life or you let others use you as their launching pad. All this leaves is the poor middle class people. Neither there nor here type and all they can do is blog about injustice and inequalities. I guess the same can be applied for countries. We have our Rich, Poor and the developing countries. Rich gets there things done with money, poor don’t dream, it's their survival and then the developing world where the only thing remaining is their infighting.
So can I conclude along with my developing country, my middle class life is doomed from the beginning? Or is my conclusion incorrect?

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