Monday, 6 September 2010 11:13 AM

What kind of a leader do I want for SI?

Dear Editor,

Thank you for allowing me a space in your column.

A wise man once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country". This wise man was the 35th President of United States, John F. Kennedy. I was not even around during JFK presidency but just reading about this great man's legacy was enough to convince me that he was no ordinary leader. Despite his short term in office and lack of major legislative changes coming to fruition during his term, Americans and non-Americans alike regularly vote him as one of the best presidents, in the same breath as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt (wikipedia.org).

That itself says a lot about the man's leadership qualities. To our current leaders in Solomon Islands, I recommend you all take some time to study JFK's biography. What kind of legacy would you want to leave behind as a leader? The ideal situation would be to have more JFKs in our parliament right? Well unfortunately that would not be possible. But nothing should stop you from striving to become the best leader that you can be. There is a couple of things on leadership that I have picked from various writers on the subject of leadership that I think are worth sharing in with our current crop of leaders. I have observed far too many times in previous Governments in Solomon Islands where some good leaders get carried away with the lust for power. One could tell that they have the charisma and skill to be a great leader during their campaigns, but once the bug of power takes over, they became more disliked than being liked. To be a good leader, one should put him/herself in the shoes of those whom they are leading. Leaders have always had power and control over the masses, or those they lead. In general the mass always respond to how these leaders rule, by either liking them or resenting them. The Bible says in Proverb 29:2, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn," also in Proverb 29:12 "If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked."

The words from the Bible speak volumes on the value of a good leader. Leaders may be voted into parliament by the people, but once they get the reins of power, more often than not, they get sucked into corruption. The people mourn when this happens. Good leaders should not allow the power of authority, and control to go to their heads. And this should also apply to any person with the authority of leadership.
Teachers, police officers, court officials, doctors, landlords, and bosses who employ people to work for them, all are examples of leaders with authority. All these people who have authority over others have the potential to become good or bad leaders. A good leader should never put him or herself above the people they oversee. A good leader ought to have the values of tolerance, understanding, compassion, fairness, and forgiveness.

As a leader, it is paramount that you have the respect of those you lead; it creates a calm and cooperative atmosphere for everyone involved. Good leaders should always think of those they lead before putting their own needs and wants first. A good parent will always put their child's need ahead of their own. That is what makes them a good parent. A good leader should always adopt this as a guideline.
Great leaders are also loved by the masses. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi and others, sacrificed their own needs to lead their people and they did so in having "love for one another." Good leaders have a good relationship with the mass, and are not feared by those they lead. To quote from an essay by Christopher Scott, "A good landlord will get tenants who rent from them for years. A good boss will pitch in and help when the load gets too heavy for the workers. A good doctor will suggest a second opinion when a patient is faced with a difficult decision. A good leader will, do unto others, as they would like to be done unto them.

God Bless the new leaders of Solomon Islands and God Bless Solomon Islands!


J. Nuake
Waseda University
Japan

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of J Nuake and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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