An article in the Business Times’ Editorial & Opinion column of 25 Apr 2012 talked about developing global leaders with an Asian focus. I thought it was well-written and it discussed issues facing many leaders today.
What is an “Asian” leader? What is a “Western” leader? Is the “Asian” leader more “collaborative” and are “Western” leaders more “assertive”? I mentioned in a previous post that we have a tendency to dissect and draw lines rather than synergize. We seem to prefer the “OR” instead of the “AND”. Think about it – we tend to look for “Specialists”, do we not? Nothing wrong with “Specialists”, just make sure that their foundations are large and stable enough to support whatever it is they are “Specializing” in. That’s the point. A leader is a leader. A leader needs to inspire people to internalize truth and work towards an ennobling and shared goal. Regardless of whether he or she comes from the East or the West, a leader must have good character qualities. Period. A good leader serves those he leads. In government, why do you think leaders are called “Ministers”? A leader sees and knows what is good for his people. This is not necessarily what they WANT, but what they NEED. He has the guts to make tough calls when necessary. He is not afraid of being voted out of office. At the same time, he sets great store by the development of other leaders and of his people in general. He lives by the adage and philosophy of making his people “Greater Than Yourself”. He sees what is for the greater good and steadfastly steers his people there, absorbing outcries and rants against him. He also has the foresight, boldness and willpower to both neutralize those that would manipulate people for their own ends and to invest the enormous resources to develop his people to be their best. When people are maximized, crime rates drop. Demand for addictive and destructive pursuits like alcohol, drugs, tobacco and moral licentiousness goes down. Productivity goes up, and people face the future confident in their shared ability to forge it instead of being victims to it. Where are such leaders today? I don’t care if they are “Western” or “Asian” or come from Timbuktu. I care very much, however, that they be Genuine Leaders. Do you?