Saturday, 12 January 2013

Legendary Leaders

Leadership is the most covetous position among men. Wars are fought, election contested, races run and many more are done for leadership.
Every social group, reputed or ill reputed, have leaders. We cannot think of a life without a leader.

Israelites, on their way from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land through the Sinai desert, missed their leader Moses for 40 days. Moses went up to the mountain of Sinai to meet God. Israelites in the valley waited for his return but could not find any trace of it. After some days, they met their Aaron, the assistant of Moses and demanded a god like all other people groups around them. Their words contain a hint to human nature. Let me quote: “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” (Exodus 32.1)(NKJV). They wanted someone to go before them. They prefer to remain followers.

A leader gives us a sense of security. A last resort to our problems.

We may wish to be a leader having a thirst for:
Authority and power
Better comforts in life
Influencing others
Leading and not following
Overcoming past bitter experiences
Changing life – our life and other people’s life
Fighting against social injustice
Avenging our enemies etc. ….

Leaders are different types.
Let us mainly divide them into two: Hard leaders and soft leaders.

Hard leaders are task masters. They behave like slave masters. They are not refined. They are not loved but frightened. None follows them, they drive others. Their presence may be a protection, but is not comfort. Their skill may be peerless, but not appreciated. They are happy with eulogies, for they never get a sincere applause. Their contributions are many, still their absence is celebrated. Their leadership ends with him.

Hard leaders may be sincere, but not reciprocal. They always feel rejected, their hard work not respected. They erect their own monuments; still their contributions are forgotten soon.
They leave behind no influence; they build no empires. Theirs words are fun for others.

Soft leaders do not lead, but are followed. They may walk in front, but do not drag any one with them. Their charisma attracts others. They never count their followers; they know that it is ever increasing. They are like magnets attracting people wherever they go. They teach but never command. They influence, never order. They are loved, respected, honoured and cared for. They need no home, no land and no wealth; still they have homes, lands and live a wealthy life. They never feel hungry, thirsty or naked. It is supplied.

They have only disciples, no slaves, no employees and no servants.
Their smile is life. Their grimace is a call for introspection.
They go in search of the lost sheep. They wait for the misled.

Their presence is comfort to others, words soothing, smiles blessing and touch reforming.
They dream and others materialize it.
They leave a legend behind. They are a way of life.
They conquer no physical territory, but build an empire. Their kingdom lasts longer.
They remain leaders even after their death.

Be a soft leader. Be successful. Leave a legend behind.

Further readings:

Professor Jacob Abraham

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