Paper at the Leadership Enhancement Program of the Institute of Medicine, Universiti Brunei Darussalam held at Empire Hotel and Resort on October 1, 2005
1.0 LEADERSHIP: BASIC CHARACTERISTICS
Definition of Leadership, Leadership in Qur’an and Sunnat, Good
and Bad Leadership, Leadership Power, Importance of Leadership
The Concept of Imaam in the Qur’an & Sunnat, Everybody Undertakes Leadership Functions, Process
of Leadership,Types & Styles of Leaders, Functions & Activities of Leaders
Attributes of Followers, Followers Part of Leadership Situation, Duties of Followers Towards the Leader,
Reliance on Followers,Praise and Personality Cult:
1.4 Functions and Activities of Leaders:
Overview, Communication, Getting the Work Done, Time Management, Public and Private Spheres
1.5 Failure of Leadership:
Causes of Leadership Failure, Responsibility and Accountability, Results/Bottom
Line, Causes of Leader Hatred, Consequences of Hatred by Followers:
2.0 LEADERS: ATTRIBUTES, SKILLS, & FUNCTIONS.
2.1 Attributes and Skills of Leaders
Leaders, Types of Attributes and Skills, Learning from the Environment
2.2 Personal Attributes of Leaders
Values and Attitudes, Drive, Energy, Self-Motivation; Personality; Simple Life, Honesty and Financial Integrity:
2.3 Conceptual Skills of Leaders
Vision, Setting Goals, Caution and Prudence, Knowledge, Commitment:
2.4 Practical Skills of Leaders
Communication:, Decision-Making, Planning and Execution, Leading Teams,
2.5 Human Skills of Leaders
Respecting and Understanding Followers, Humane Behaviour, Representing Followers, love by Followers
3.0 DISEASES OF LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS
3.1 Background of Leadership Diseases
Human Imperfections, Socialization,
Diseases, Deviant Personality, Deviant Values:
3.3 DISEASES MANIFESTING IN THE PERSON
Pride and Vanity, Petty-Mindedness,
Uncompensated Weaknesses, Ignorance, Lack of Creativity:
3.4 Diseases that Manifest in Dealing with
Seeking Excessive Veneration, Oppression and Injustice, Manipulation, Dishonesty and Seeking False
Reputation, Abandoning Followers:
3.5 Diseases of Followers:
Hypocrisy, Insincerity, Bad Advice for Leaders, Disloyalty,
1.0 LEADERSHIP: BASIC CHARACTERISTICS
A. DEFINITION OF LEADERSHIP
Leadership is the process of influencing
people and making them do certain things. It is both an art and a science. It may be formal and legalistic or informal. It
has rational, emotional, intuitive and instinctive dimensions. Leadership involves moving followers in a certain direction
mostly by non-coercive methods. A few leadership skills are innate but most are acquired by experience and education.
Successful leaders get voluntary cooperation
from followers. Good leaders persuade and do not command. Fear and authority are not leadership. Leaders who depend only on
authority and coercion do not go very far. Poor leaders manipulate their followers. Manipulation is getting a person to do
what they are not aware of or do not want to do.
There is a dynamic interaction between the
leader, the followers, and the situation. A leader of one group of followers may not be able to lead a different group. A
leader in one situation may fail in another one. Roles of leaders and followers can be interchanged. A leader may be a follower
of a more powerful leader. A good leader must therefore also be a good follower.
B. LEADERSHIP IN QUR’AN and SUNNAT
There are many verses of the Qur’an and hadith
of the Prophet (PBUH) with a direct bearing on leadership. The Qur’an reported that Ibrahim was given leadership after
undergoing trial[i]. A good leader wants good followers[ii]. It is necessary and obligatory to have leaders[iii]. Knowledge is the basis for selection of leaders[iv]. Personal ambition for leadership is discouraged[v]. A leader has responsibility[vi]. Everybody exercises leadership responsibility[vii]. Incompetent leaders are condemned[viii]. Leadership authority in incompetent hands is a sign of doom[ix]. One of the signs of the approach of the Last Day will be the disappearance of honesty
and when authority is given to those who do not deserve it[x]. Leadership power is necessary for success for example Sulaiman was a powerful knowledgeable
leader[xi] who used his power to do good. The leader must be gradual in obtaining compliance[xii]. Allah's gives guidance to good leaders[xiii]. Justice, objectivity, and honesty are needed in Leadership[xiv].
The personality of the leader must have strength and
patience[xv]. Musa was very patient with the Banu Israil[xvi]. The leader must avoid any appearance of impropriety[xvii]. The leader must have empathy and respect for followers[xviii]. He must have leniency, good treatment, and forgiveness[xix]. He must have consideration for the followers[xx]. He is a protector[xxi]. He comforts followers in times of despair[xxii]. He must maintain public moral standards[xxiii]. He should not be cruel[xxiv]. Leaders learn from mistakes and do not repeat them[xxv]. Good leaders admit ignorance and accept correction[xxvi].
The leader must be liked by followers[xxvii]. Love by people is indication leader is good[xxviii]. The leader must be accessible[xxix]. However the leader must be given some privacy[xxx].
For success of leadership, the followers must
have certain qualities. Bad followers lead to bad leadership. Good followers lead to good leadership. "kama takuunu
yuwalla alaikum". The duties of followers include obedience of the leaders[xxxi]. Followers must give sincere advice to the leaders[xxxii] Good advisors help a leader succeed[xxxiii]. A good leader encourages followers to correct him[xxxiv]. Followers may be disobedient as were Banu Israil with Musa[xxxv]. Respect for authority is necessary for success of society[xxxvi]. Leaders must be obeyed[xxxvii]. There are however limits to this obedience. Leaders can not be obeyed if they violate the Law[xxxviii].
Leaders may suffer from certain diseases and weaknesses.
Ignorant leaders misguide[xxxix]. Oppression and petty-mindedness are condemned[xl]. Oppressors will be finally punished[xli]. Bad leaders deceive their followers[xlii]. They may spend time searching for follower faults[xliii]. They torment followers for no genuine reason[xliv]. The Qur’an described some cruel leaders such as Pharaoh[xlv] and Dhu Nuwas[xlvi]. Pharaoh was arrogant[xlvii]. Bad leaders take bribes[xlviii].
C. GOOD and BAD LEADERSHIP
True leadership is more service than domination.
The leader is the servant, sayyid al qawm khadimuhum. Good and effective leadership
is a source of greatness. ‘abqariyyah. Great movements and changes in history
are always associated with great leaders. Intended here is real, genuine, moral, and competent leadership based on character
and integrity and not the phoney leadership that thrives on propaganda, deceit, and manipulation. Bad leaders are motivated
by power alone. They just like the exercise of power. Good leaders have higher motivation. They want to use leadership power
to improve and make a change.
There is no leadership without followership.
The quality of the followers determines the quality of the leaders. A good leader may fail with bad followers. An average
leader may succeed if he has good followers. In the long run it is follower quality that determines the nature of a particular
leadership situation. "The way you are is the way of your leaders". Followers get the leaders they deserve. Incongruence between
followers and leaders is usually temporary.
Successful leadership requires that followers
obey the leader. There are, however, limitations and conditions for that obedience as will be discussed later.
Good leaders teach leadership, they pull
and do not push. Good leadership involves empowering followers by coaching them and then sharing leadership power with them
through delegation. Followers must be given real authority, information and resources but must be held accountable for what
they do. Empowered followers have heightened self-efficacy and self-confidence. They will have higher performance, exhibit
more cooperation, achieve higher personal growth, and in the end all ensure the survival of the organization.
D. LEADERSHIP POWER
Leaders and followers are better defined
by what they do than what they are or what they say. Actions cannot deceive over time; reputation and nice words often do.
Every leader has to expose himself through his actions since there is no leadership without activity.
DEFINITION OF POWER:
Power is capability or potential to get something done. Influence is exercise of power
to get something done. Authority is formal power that a leader has as a virtue of the position. Power and leadership are interdependent
but are not interchangeable. A leader needs power to succeed and influence others but power alone does not make an effective
TYPES OF POWER:
There are 2 types of leadership power: personal
and positional. Both are used in varying proportions depending on the leadership situation. Personal power is based on character,
expertise, charisma, and personal relations. Positional power is based on formal authority that includes decision-making,
reward, punishment, and control of information and organizational resources.
USE OF LEADERSHIP
The leader has to make a correct judgement
of which source of power to use in a particular leadership situation. Influence is exercise of leadership power. Powerful
leaders have more influence. They have credibility and can get more compliance from their followers. Leaders can get follower
compliance by rational persuasion, appeal, pressure, promise of rewards, negotiations (win-win, compromise). Leader get followers
to do things either by making small demands followed by big ones, or by starting with big demands followed by small ones of
the big ones are not possible
A leader gains more power and influence by
building credibility. Credibility is based on competence (experience, knowledge, and skills), character (honesty, kindness,
and sympathy), self-confidence, activity and drive, boldness and assertiveness. The followers must trust the leader if he
is to lead them well. Building credibility starts with self-assessment to know your strengths and use them, to identify your
weaknesses and compensate for them. You have to listen to and learn from the followers. Keeping promises and being predictable
are very important for credibility.
E. IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP
Leadership is a pre-condition for civilized existence. Absence of recognized leadership
means chaos to the detriment of all. Any group of 3 or more must have a leader. Leadership is the single most important determinant
of organizational success. Good leadership leads to success; bad leadership leads to frustration and failure. If the leaders
are upright, the ummat will be upright, istiqamat amr al naas idha istaqamat al aimmat[xlix]. All members, supporters, and sympathizers of the organization are stakeholders who are
concerned about success and failure of leadership.
A. THE CONCEPT OF
IMAAM IN THE QUR’AN and SUNNAT
The Qur’an and sunnat use the term imaam to refer to leaders in the following verses
and hadiths. Ibrahim prayed that leaders be appointed from his progeny[l]. Even the suppressed can become leaders, al
mustadhi’afiin aimmat[li]. Each group of people will be identified by their leader, kullu unaas bi imaamihim[lii]. Good leaders prefer leading righteous people, imaam
al muttaqiin[liii]. The Qur’an described good leaders as the guided ones, aimmat mahdiyiin[liv]. Bad leaders call people towards evil and hell, aimmat yadi’uuna ila al naar[lv]. Effective leadership is achieved after trials, imaamat ba’ada al ibtilaa[lvi].
B. EVERYBODY UNDERTAKES
Leadership is a function exercised by almost everybody each in his or her own sphere;
you are at least leaders of yourself or leader of your family. The prophet taught that everybody is responsible and that everybody
is accountable, kullukum raa’i wa kullu raa’i mas’uulu ‘an
ra’iyatihi[lvii]. Leadership can be in the community, the work place, and in public organizations. Since
everybody has some leadership roles, each one can become a more effective leader by formal training or gaining experience
on the job. Not everyone wants to be a public leader. There are many people who are just not prepared to invest the energy
necessary to shoulder the responsibilities of public leadership.
Leadership involves the following specific functions: setting and communicating visions, goals,
and objectives; representing followers; directing, coordinating, and integrating; influencing, mobilizing, motivating, creating
enthusiasm and optimism; providing services and making a difference.
PROCESS OF LEADERSHIP
OR RENEWAL OF LEADERS:
Successful public leadership is always directly or indirectly dependent on the consent of the
followers. Good selection of leaders requires participation of the followers. Leaders cannot be imposed. Imposition of leaders
can work for only a short time or is associated with unsuccessful leader-follower situations. The exact method of expressing
the follower's view varies according to the circumstances, culture, history, and traditions of each group. Follower input
whatever its nature cannot be ignored. There is no correct answer to the question how long should one individual stay in leadership?
It is better to leave this matter open and decide according to circumstances. Staying too long discourages the emergence of
younger leaders and infusing new blood and new ideas into the organization. It may also result into inefficiency as the leader
loses effectiveness with time. Frequent changes of leaders may on the other hand result in lack of continuity and instability.
There are situations in which one long-serving leader is the only one with the skills and charisma to hold the organization
together. In such a case you should not insist on change for the sake of change.
Leaders experience problems. Being at the top can be lonely. They take responsibility for failures.
Followers may be disloyal to the leaders or the organization. Subordinates may have poor values that the leaders can not stand.
There may be dissent. The leaders may be ahead of the followers in vision and thinking. External threats are always looming
on the horizon. A leader is a public figure and has to accept more invasion of his privacy than an ordinary person. The leader
can not close his door in front of people who have a need to see him[lviii]. It is important that people know enough about leaders' private life to be assured that
they are not involved in any activity that is incompatible with their leadership position. The leader must be accessible at
all times and cannot claim privacy as a reason for not carrying out leadership functions. The followers must however have
some consideration for the leader and his family. They must give him some privacy so that he can lead an ordinary life
Leaders, being human, are not always perfect. They have strengths and weaknesses. A correct
assessment of a particular leadership situation requires looking at both strengths and weaknesses. Expectations generate a
power and a momentum of their own and are a very powerful motivator. A leader who effectively communicates expectations gets
what he expects. Only self-confident leaders can communicate expectations effectively. Practical life tests leaders in various
ways; the strongest emerge successful from the tests.
A leader must be able to stand up to emotional and psychological pressures. He must maintain
his calm and objectivity in face of personal insults and abuse directed at him or what he stands for and loves. He must be
able to deal fairly with people he is not emotionally comfortable with such as opponents, those who abuse, and disparage him.
D. TYPES and STYLES OF LEADERS
INDIVIDUALIZATION OF LEADERSHIP:
Leadership is highly individualized and is
very specific for the situation and the type of followers. Each circumstance calls for different skills and style of leadership.
The only constant un-varying dimension is that whatever style or skills are employed, they must conform to the leader's basic
personality, values, and attitudes otherwise there will be inconsistencies that will eventually lead to leadership failure.
Several types of leaders and styles of leadership
can be described: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. Leaders can be transactional, transformational, or charismatic.
Some leaders are task oriented whilst others are people-oriented. Choice of type or style must be flexible. The choice is
determined by: the situation, leader personality, follower personality, type of organization, and type of work carried out.
Some situations call for use of a combination of leadership styles.
BASED ON DECISION-MAKING STYLE.
Leaders can be autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire: Autocratic leaders are dictatorial.
They set goals, make all the decisions and just give followers orders to carry out. They personally direct tasks. There is
very little follower feed back. Democratic leaders on the other hand involve followers in decision-making, listen to them,
and give them a chance to participate. There is feed back from both the leaders and the followers. Laisser-faire leaders neglect
their role. They have little interaction with the followers. They do not care about what the followers do. The followers are
free to do what they want, how and when they want. Laisser-faire leaders exercise hands-off management.
BASED ON ORIENTATION: PEOPLE VS TASK:
Leadership may be task-oriented or people-oriented. A good leader has the right mixture of the
two for the particular leadership situation he may find himself in. The correct synthesis is to concentrate first on the people,
make them believe in themselves, trust, train, and nurture them and then let them produce superior results. Task-oriented
leaders are mainly interested in production and results. They often have poor interpersonal skills. Some leaders perform well
with structured tasks whereas others are best with unstructured tasks. People-oriented leaders are interested in the welfare
of the followers and try to make them happy and contented. This, if taken to the extreme, affects productivity, quality, and
AND TRANSACTIONAL LEADERS:
Transformational leaders empower, inspire, innovate, and raise passions. They have a vision
and communicate it effectively. They raise followers to higher levels of motivation and morality. They give their followers
a feeling of well being and imbue new confidence and blow a new spirit in them. There is an emotional bond between the leaders
and the followers. The power of transformational leaders is person-centered. Transactional leaders fulfill the followers'
current material and psychological needs in return for performance. Their outlook is managerial.
Charismatic leaders arise in certain circumstances and are not selected. They are characterized
by their values, enthusiasm, and energy. They have person-centered authority which ends with their exit from the stage. They
are revered and followers are devoted to them. They are invariably dynamic public speakers. They evoke strong emotions, display
self-confidence and competence, serve as role models, communicate high expectations with transcendental goals, and embody
in their person the hopes, aspirations, and frustrations of the followers. Positive charismatic leaders use their authority
to improve society. Negative charismatic leaders use that authority for their own self-aggrandizement. Charismatic leaders
have a tendency to think of themselves as indispensable and to know all. They may develop egoistic and dictatorial tendencies.
They can easily misuse their great authority and power. They usually do not prepare others to take their place. When they
disappear from the stage they leave behind a void and instability.
LEADERS VS MANAGERS:
Leadership calls for different skills from management. Managers are not necessarily leaders.
The reverse is also true. An organization may be well led but poorly managed and vice versa. In practice, management and leadership
functions overlap. An individual can exercises both leadership and management functions in varying proportions. You have to
know when to lead and when to manage.
Leaders are concerned with effectiveness; they are intuitive and visionary; they like change,
innovation, challenging the status quo, and development; they are original; they focus on vision and its importance; they
have a long-term view and inspire others to achieve and excel.
Managers are rational problem-solvers whose concern is efficiency, process, and mechanics of
achieving objectives. They administer for maintenance of stability, harmony, and the status quo. They follow and do not innovate.
Their view is generally short-term.
A. ATTRIBUTES OF
Attributes of followers closely parallel those of their leaders if the leadership situation
lasts a fairly long time. Followers may be lazy or hardworking. Some followers accept and take responsibility; others shun
it. Some followers are sheep and are 'yes people' they will follow whatever is moving. Some are survivors who will do whatever
is necessary to stay out of trouble. Other followers are alienated and do not care about what is going on around them. Some
followers are obedient others are not. Many will not obey until they are promised a reward or are threatened with punishment.
Followers differ in intelligence, education, experience, honesty, respect for leaders, and gratitude
B. FOLLOWERS PART
OF LEADERSHIP SITUATION:
Each leader has followers. The Qur’an talked about followers of the prophet, atbaa’u al rasuul[lix], followers of Isa, atbaa’u Isa[lx], and followers of Ibrahim, atbaa’u
Ibrahim[lxi]. Followers play an important function in a leadership situation. It is a mistake to consider
them passive spectators. It is unfortunate that books of history record only what the leaders did and ignore the more important
contributions of the followers. The people close to the leader, bitaanat al imaam,
can guide or misguide him[lxii].
C. DUTIES OF FOLLOWERS
TOWARD THE LEADER
Leaders must be obeyed otherwise there is no point in leadership. It is better to replace
a leader than to disobey his commands. Obedicnce of leaders and those in authority is enjoined by the Law. The Law enjoins
obeying the leader, wujuub taa’at al imaam[lxiii], and those in authority, taa’at uulu al amr[lxiv]. Obedience extends to officials who work under the leader[lxv]. Each leader is obeyed in his or her own unique way such as obedience of the prophet, taa’at al rasuul[lxvi], obedience by the wife, taa’at al
zawjat[lxvii], and obedience of the parents, taa’at
There are limits and conditions to the obedience. Obedience is enjoined as long as there
is no disobedience of Allah, al samau wa al taa’at fi ghayr ma’asiyat[lxix]. The leader cannot compel followers to do evil. The followers cannot withhold obedience
to a just order just because they have a different opinion.
The leader must
be shown respect because his person represents the group. If the leader is not respected, the whole group loses respect and
dignity. Respect for leaders on earth is a reason for getting respect in the hereafter[lxx].
ADVICE AND CORRECTION:
Followers must advise and correct the leader, munaasahat
al imaam[lxxi]. It is incumbent on the leader to listen and accept advice. Advice from followers is
facilitated by creating an atmosphere devoid of fear. The leader must give the followers license to question. This enhances
Good, genuine and continuous feed-back is required of both leaders and followers. The following
are characteristics of good effective feed-back: direct, specific, descriptive, timely, and flexible. Feed-back should include
both the negative and the positive. Neither the leader nor the follower should use feed-back for blaming or embarrassing others.
Follower loyalty is very important for success of leadership. This is loyalty to the position
and not the person of the leader. The leader must reciprocate this loyalty by being committed to the followers and not abandoning
them or exposing them to danger.
D. RELIANCE ON FOLLOWERS:
The leader must rely on and use staff work. The staff must know they are trusted and that their
work is valued.
E. PRAISE AND PERSONALITY
Followers may make false praise. A good leader sees through this and avoids it. He discourages
praise and development of a personality cult.
1.4 FUNCTIONS & ACTIVITIES OF LEADERS
A leader must lead. The leadership function cannot be 100% delegated. The leader should not
turn into a follower of the followers, that would be abdicating responsibility.
Depending on the situation a leader may
play one of the following roles/functions:
Clarification of vision, goals, objectives
for the organization and the followers
Making decisions without which there is
Strategic and tactical Planning
Solving problems so that they do not remain
as a time-bomb
Coordinating and integration to ensure
unity of command, of purpose, and of direction
Representation of the organization and
followers outside and protecting their interests
Managing and resolving conflicts so that
the group may hold together
Motivation of followers to be productive
(j) Tasking by determining who will do what when and how
Maintaining positive and smooth working
relationships with peers, superiors, and followers
Participation and not being aloof
Evaluation of self and of followers so
that renewal and correction may be possible
Forming groups, coaching them and delegating
responsibility to them
Communication, the most important function
of the leader with followers:
Communication competence is an essential
leadership skill because leadership is human interaction. Leaders must have the capacity to use symbols to create reality.
These symbols are necessary to move followers to strive toward a vision, reach goals and purposes. The leader must have an
agenda to lead well. Parts of the agenda must be communicated whereas some should be kept confidential. Since leaders are
by definition able to see visions further than followers, they must have the twin ability to communicate those visions effectively
to motivate the followers. The vision communicated outside must be the same as that communicated internally. A leader could
communicate a baseline of low expectations at the start. This will enhance the impact of later achievements. Care must be
taken not to make the expectations so low that there is demotivation. Leader communication must be sincere and high on the
moral scale. Communicating false images and boosting the leader's ego are not acceptable. It is better for the leader to produce
quality work before trying to get media attention.
The leader should use the mass media to get
goodwill for the organization. All credit should be for the organization and not the leader. The leader should be humble but
should not confuse his personal humility with that of the organization. The organization should have a high profile. In dealing
with the media, a decision should be made whether a high or a low profile will be maintained. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
A leader may have to be silent sometimes in order to buy time and get the chance to reconsider issues. As a leader you may
also want to let the heat of the moment pass before committing yourself. You should be a good and motivating public speaker.
If too busy use a speech-writer. Choose speaking opportunities actively and initiate the invitation process. Do not wait to
be invited. Whenever you speak make sure there is solid content.
A leader can hold a group together as long
as intra-group communication is efficient. There should ideally exist no communication gap between the top leadership and
the rank-and file. Group failure starts with communication failure. Communication problems are complicated in a decentralized
organization.An efficient communication system must be set up. The leader must
read widely to be able to know what is going on inside and outside the organization. He must be able to identify micro and
mega trends as well as understand how they impact on his organisation. He must know what followers know and what they are
Modern communication technology has placed
new challenges on leaders. There is too much information and it is transmitted too rapidly. Information overload is a real
problem. An effective leader will rise above the information clutter. He knows how to reach the people he wants despite the
clutter. Clutter can be made use of when the leader deliberately wants to be vague. It is however unethical for the leader
to create such clutter. He can only benefit from it when it exists. Communication technology has greatly increased the speed
of events by compressing time. If you do not handle your communication well, efficiently and effectively, you will be overtaken
by events. One way to manage is to be pro-active. Get your message out quickly. Control the information agenda. Have contingency
plans. The leader's communication competence is put to a severe test in a crisis. A crisis presents both a danger and an opportunity
as far as communication is concerned. The atmosphere of heightened tension increases receptivity of messages. Swift response
and giving information builds credibility and demonstrates mastery over the situation. On the other hand hesitation and giving
incomplete information destroy credibility.
C. GETTING THE WORK DONE
You should be able to identify and resolve
organizational problems. Look at each situation from different vantage points. A management solution may contradict an equally
valid leadership solution. Reconciliation between the two requires much understanding and wisdom.
Effective leaders motivate followers to excel.
Motivation reduces the need for close control and supervision. Motivation in a decentralized organization requires special
and advanced communication skills. Positive motivation is more effective than negative one. The leader will motivate his followers
if he treats them equally. He should not show any favoritism.
Effective leaders delegate work to others.
They will motivate, coach and monitor because delegation is not abdication. Leaders who want to do all by themselves are preparing
Effective leaders know how to form work-teams
and coordinate their activities for maximum productivity. They will anticipate and resolve intra-group and inter-group conflicts.
The leader must manage time well. He should
focus on issues. He must balance commitments taking into account the long-term and short term interests of the organization.
Time management must be flexible. Always leave flex time as a blank in your calendar.
and private spheres:
A leader in the exercise of his functions
must distinguish between the personal and official roles. Acting in the official role may involve doing things contrary to
what you would do in private and vice versa. However no immoral acts can be accepted on the excuse that they are required
by the official position. It is better in such a case to resign than compromise your values.
1.5 FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP
A. CAUSES OF LEADERSHIP FAILURE
Leadership failure is a consequence of a series of mistakes. An organization can survive a few
leadership mistakes. When the mistakes are consecutive and cumulative, the death certificate for the organization is sealed.
Leadership failure has several often inter-related causes:
Refusal to admit mistakes and blaming them
Belief of the leader that he is indispensable
and behaving as a dictator
Fear for position and neglecting training
or developing replacements
Disloyalty to superiors, peers, followers
and the organization
Lack of creativity: hating new ideas, persisting
in unproductive but tested ways, and being too bureaucratic
Lack of common sense, being away from reality
and being theoretical
Lack of human skills and handling followers
well and equitably
Lack of a sense of bottom-line that you
have to produce results
Failure to lead and following the crowd
Condoning or tolerating incompetence
Failure to recognize and reward good work
Followers hating the leader.
A leader is accountable for all what goes on. He should have the courage to admit his mistakes
so that he may correct them. He must also take ultimate responsibility for mistakes committed by subordinates although he
is not personally directly culpable. He was supposed to select only the best and most competent, train them, and supervise
them so that they make no mistakes.
Bad leaders do not take personal responsibilities. They are not accountable for mistakes in
their organization. They look for excuses (even valid ones) or shift responsibility to others. It is a sign of personal weakness
and emotional immaturity for a leader to pretend to be all-knowing and perfect all the time.
A leader is judged by results. Lack of a sense of a bottom line is a sure way to leadership
failure. Such leaders may tolerate or even condone incompetence in the organization because success and results do not matter
to them. They will fail to recognize and reward good work. A leader must achieve results. If he fails, even if he worked hard
and sincerely and even if he has valid excuses, he is considered to have failed and he must accept responsibility. Accepting
responsibility is the first positive step toward looking for a solution.
D. CAUSES OF LEADER
CAUSES OF HATRED
OF FOLLOWERS FOR LEADERS:
A leader who does not respect followers is soon hated. The causes of hatred are: impersonal
behavior, not listening to followers, being self importance, wrong decisions, claiming credit for followers' work, blaming
followers for the leader's mistakes, being secretive, withholding information, failure to protect followers from external
attacks, public criticism of followers, not consulting followers, and over-working followers.
When a leader starts thinking that he is special and that there is nobody else who can be in
his position he is already on the way to being lost. He will soon become a dictator and will suppress all dissent and refuse
to listen to advice. He will not develop his followers. Shaitan will encourage him to become increasingly arrogant until he
eventually fails. An insecure leader fears for his position and tries to oppress or suppress people with leadership ability
in the organization. This is an insincere person who should not have been a leader in the first place. A mark of a good leader
is not coveting positions.
Poor leaders, actually leaders by default,
put down people and are only manifesting their own lack of self-confidence and a feeling of low self-worth. They assume that
everybody else must be like them. Such leaders either do not last long or continue leading failing organizations.
A bad leader does not trust others and is not trusted. He will be disloyal to his superiors,
his peers, and his subordinates. He will even betray the organization in pursuit of his selfish interests.
A leader who is not accessible soon loses touch with realities in the organizations. He can
not know what is going on at the grass-roots level. He lives in an ivory tower and his decisions and actions lack the common
sense that is expected.It is forbidden for the leader to close his door in front
of those with needs[lxxii].
POOR HUMAN RELATIONS:
Poor leaders are poor in human relations. They demotivate followers, harass them and make them
loathe the organization. Many followers will leave at the first opportunity. Some leaders develop this people incompetence
into an art. They are aware of their inadequacy and inability to change so they make sure no follower stays too long with
them. They know the follower will eventually get fed up with them and may confront them one day. They make sure he leaves
before that breaking point. High turnover thus becomes a normal way with dire consequences for the organization.
FOLLOWING THE CROWD:
Some leaders abdicate their responsibilities. They fail to lead and follow the crowd. Some could justify this by
saying that they are 'listening' to their followers. The main motivation for this is to be loved by the followers. Some leaders just
do not want to confront the practical realities and difficulties of leadership and are content only with the pomp and material
benefits of leadership.
OF HATRED BY FOLLOWERS:
No person should insist on continuing in a leadership position if he/she is hated by the followers.
Leadership can not succeed if there is no good relation between the leader and the followers. Confrontations and divisions
will sooner or later occur in the organization. If a leader is in position for the good of the organization and not personal
interest, he will rather resign than expose the organization to the risk of failure.