Monday, 5 January 2015

What is good leadership?

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Good leadership is:

1. Recognizing what most crucially needs to be done.

2. Discovering how to do it.

3. Doing it.

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It is not about being without faults - not about avoiding mistakes/ blame; it is not about doing 'something' useful (but not doing THE thing that needs to be done).

It is not about doing something, then persuading people that that was what needed to be done.

It is not about saying  things, giving speeches, making plans, embarking upon consultation exercises,starting 'conversations', taking polls, making votes.

Fake-leadership is complex and easy; Real Leadership is simple and difficult.

Real leadership is difficult, because what needs to be done is often obvious; and the reason that has not been done is because of the obstacles which stand in the path of doing the right thing.

A real Leader overcomes those obstacles ad does the necessary; but a fake leader explains why the obstacles mean that the right thing cannot be done, and something else easier (which is not the right thing) should instead be done -  and then takes credit for doing what was easily do-able, instead of what was needed.

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Real leadership is very rare.

But rarity is no reason to pretend that fake is real.

When there is no real leadership - when the leader is merely a corrupted careerist figurehead (which is nearly all of the time in high status and powerful institutions, nowadays) - then the best thing is to acknowledge the fact.

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(Note added: There is another situation where there is a real leader who recognizes what needs to be done, discovers how to do it - and tries hard to do it, but is thwarted by other people so it doesn't get done. This has been the fate of some potential real leaders in recent years - such as Pope Benedict XVI, perhaps. In the event, the odds (and the system) were too heavily stacked against them. But, this is a bit conjectural, because without success it can never be known for sure that what they wanted to do really would have worked, or whether a better leader might have been able to overcome the thwarters.)