QUESTION 4: A leader must have courage. Do you agree or disagree with this statement. Why? Discuss.
Leadership holds a unique responsibility for the followers apart from decisions and actions that relate to other matters. Especially in this modern world, the leadership role is an inevitable reflection of people's needs and challenges. As such leadership is centrally concerned with people and it is important that good leadership includes attitudes and behaviours which characterise and relate to humanity. Driven by an increasingly complex and fast-changing world, leadership is therefore a profound concept, with increasingly complex implications.
There are many capabilities in life that relates to acquiring skills and knowledge and then applying them in a consistent way. However when it comes to leadership, it is not quite the same. Good leadership demands emotional strengths and behavioural characteristics which can draw deeply on a leader's mental and spiritual reserves.
These behaviours and attitudes are what attract followers. Leaders who exhibit strength and the ability to inspire beliefs in others tend to attract followers naturally. These portray charismatic qualities in leaders which enable effective leadership. Nevertheless, charisma by itself is not a guarantee of effective leadership.
Some people acquire the ability to lead naturally more than others. They are able to lead, in one way or another and in one situation or another than they realize, even though they do not seek to be a leader. Leadership is not exclusively for the wealthy and educated. Leadership is a matter of personal conviction and believing strongly in a cause or aim, whatever it may be. Effective leaders are followed mainly because people trust and respect them, rather than the skills they possess. Thus, leadership is about behaviour first, skills second.
Leaders play an overwhelming role in the success of a group. A leader should be knowledgeable and bold. In order for leaders to be successful, they must be brave enough to make tough decisions and judgment calls. They need to embrace change and develop a new model of doing business. They need to take inventory of their costs and re-examine their work processes and procedures, and take action to reduce waste and ineffective processes.
Knowledge is one of the greatest commodities in today’s business environment, but applied knowledge and being brave enough to drive knowledge will be a leader’s watershed moment. There would be times when business leaders have to weigh the options they take to make a big impact for organisational success.
Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak said, “Bringing change is always a harsh task. You must sometimes accept unpopularity. But if you are really convinced that you are making the right decision, you must stick to it. Modernization is worth this price”. He is a founder of a private equity fund, MedInvest Associates. Educated at the American University in Cairo, he worked as an investment banker in Cairo and London for Bank of America. He established the Future Generation Foundations which is a nongovernmental organisation to train young entrepreneurs in Egypt. In the year 2000, he was appointed as the General Secretariat of the National Democratic Party which marked his political career. “Two years later, he became head of the new Policy Secretariat. In 2003, he introduced and passed legislation to abolish Egypt's state security courts, remove the penal code's labor penalty, and create a National Council for Human Rights” (Middle east Forum, The Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2009, Volume XVI: Number 1).
Leaders are faced with tough decisions and criticism, but where there is risk, there is reward, and leaders that are innovative, and are willing to take new approaches, will succeed in the future. They need to present things in an honest but balanced manner.
An effective leader should be level-headed and...
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