Friday, January 31, 2014

On Leadership

    In today's world, we hear that leadership is important, but what does "leadership" mean? How do we tell who is a good leader and who isn't? What qualities are core? It's a question we can think about for a long time, but the answer to all of these questions is simple; the difficulty is practicing proper leadership.
    Leadership is the ability to inspire action. That is it. I didn't look it up in a dictionary. This is the definition I came up with by simply looking around and analyzing different "leaders." How certain leaders inspire others vary. People are "inspired" to act through fear, money, power, intelligence, ideals, love, or example. For example, a soldier will fight and continue to fight because either he is afraid of a foreign nation attacking his family or because the government is actually threatening his family. A mercenary, on the other hand, fights in order to get paid.
    The test of a person's leadership is how far he inspires someone to go. Again with the soldier example, the test would be how long he is willing to fight before giving up. If someone is just fighting for pay, then he might give up easily or defect for a higher pay. If he is fighting for his family, then it'll likely be harder to convince him to surrender willingly.
    There is another test for determining who we can say is a "good" leader. In this case, we mean "good" to mean "virtuous" as opposed to "skilled." Adolf Hitler inspired people. In that sense, we can say he was "good," but he wasn't good. The ability to inspire does not justify murder, let alone genocide, as well as other crimes. In contrast, I think it's safe to say that TIME's Person of the Year and Esquire's Best Dressed Man of 2013 winner, Pope Francis, is a good leader in both fields. Not only does he inspire people to act, but he leads by example. If only all politicians were like that.

1 comment:

  1. certainly a fresh perspective on the word "leader" great job. Really something to think about and strive towards.