Political leaders are born. Then they are created. Leaders create themselves.
Although leaders are not divorced from wider social trends, a leader by definition influences the direction of these trends. As I look around the world today, I see a world largely bereft of strong leadership.
Obama may be a rock star president to some though on the global stage the US leadership star keeps slipping. PM David Cameron – David who? What - you don't know the name of Britain's prime minister? And President Hollande of France? Yes, Holland is the name of a small Northern European country and Hollande is the name of the recently installed French president.
(Perhaps some social activists may know of Hollande because he is the first French president to move into Paris' Elysee Palace with a 'partner,' not a wife.)
Maybe my concept of political leadership was formed by personalities from the 1980s - a decade of real leadership? Leadership which ultimately led to the demise of the great evil of the day: communism.
|Recognize the leaders?|
The Brits had Thatcher, the Americans Reagan and the French Mitterand.
All three had presence, aura and a few other things which many leaders of today lack. Sure, there were illegitimate children (Mitterand), the Iran-Contra Scandal (Reagan) but these leaders didn't waffle. They went for the jugular despite social upheavals or negative reactions from the opponents like Arthur Scargill, Galtieri or Brezhnev.
Look at us today. More than decade into the War on Terror and the world still lives in terror. Aircraft carriers, soldiers and anti-aircraft guns are deployed in the heart of London to stave of terror attacks during the Olympic Games. Granted, OBL was killed in a dramatic commando raid but most everything else is still in a mess.
And, don't try to tell me the global economy's dire straits are not linked to the War on Terror – of which the Iraq occupation was a major part!
It is with mixed emotions that I suggest the world will stay off an even keel for some years to come. Maybe it's that progress is always slightly anarchic – or so I have been told. It's only during periods of stagnation that things stay orderly.
Or maybe, just maybe, I have reached a tipping point in my life - that point at which everything seemed so much better 'back in the day.'
Amidst all this confusion, there is one undisputable fact of which I am certain: music was way better in my day! No debate.
__________________Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.