There is an enormous upsurge in self-appointed leaders – be it among the religious, political, secular, CSOs, ethnic groups. This unprecedented rise can be catastrophic if not led with holistic visions of life. The question – is it really an altruistic job or something connected to money and building one’s brand? Narrowing down the diameter of human existence to a village or ethnic or community or regional level is self-defeating vision while we openly embrace globalization.
Some might unconsciously presume that merely launching a YouTube channel, penning down an article and getting published in a reputed journal, driving a fancy car, donning a uniform, or having a mansion endow them with the charge to have an opinion on every incident of the world. Some, who are used to armchair theorizing, self-survival mantra tycoons may expect the world to act according to their wishes. Someone who lectures in a university could have the notion that he or she is the right leader to lead society. All these are but not true in total. One should also accept the reality that a good politician need not be a good speaker, a good speaker need not be a freedom fighter, a freedom fighter need not be highly educated, a highly educated person need not be a good leader. But a leader who want to lead should have a vision for himself or herself and for the people. On the contrary, a leader who syphons public resources for himself or herself, who hides behind others in times of difficulties, who never sees the possibilities in others is but a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Half-baked self-appointed leaders
Playing with the emotions of people is a cheap and sensitive leadership strategy. Assuming leadership to divide a community is but a virus to society. Pretending to know everything but knowing too little cannot be long hidden. They are known for cheap jokes, petty issues and shallow projects. Whitewashing the tomb is their thump rule. They are self-appointed, far from enjoying public mandate. They mislead people in the name of God, religion, culture, and ethnicity. Their real masters are their throat, belly and ego. Their vision ends with building their own palaces and perhaps some extensions to their circle of half-baked self-appointed so-called leaders.
Good leaders are usually hesitant to assume office. They are selected and mounted by people (many time, after much reluctance). They are open to criticism and difference of opinion. They place society (or organization) as a top priority than feeding their egoistic fulfilments. As they are visionaries, they bring forth their plan and seek the help of others to realize those plans for the common good. “A leader is one who know the way, shows the way and goes the way” (John C. Maxwell). They read thick books but know the thin layers of the brevity of life. They are well-trained in their subjects but empathise with the untrained folk. They don’t assume to know more than they actually know. They know that the world existed before them and it will go on without them too. They are aware that humans need to survive together as a human community along with nature. They are able to bury their egoistic attitudes of anthropocentric mindset and build a narrative of coexistence on this earth – irrespective of caste, creed, religion or nationality. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others” (Bill Gates).
Take time to evaluate, either to support or deport your own self-appointed leaders. An authentic leader is inclusive, peaceful and possesses a global outlook. A wrong leader can destroy the history of hard work and lead people to regression. Choose wisely and grow with a global mind. Change your mind; then you will be able to elect good leaders to stand in front of you and for you.
The author is a PhD research scholar, Department of Sociology and Social Work, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org