The statement,”Where Have All the Leaders Gone?” kindles instant curiosity and raises certain apprehensions. It brings before the curtain of the mind the American society engulfed in many difficult problems. Where are the genuine and capable leaders who have the heart, the will, the stamina and heroism to serve the society by accepting the challenges? It provokes an interesting debate, as welfare of the Nation is the concern of every responsible citizen. It cautions the people to be vigilant about the destination less and directionless leaders.
Describe or identify characteristics/qualities of an effective leader:
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When one pronounces the word leader, obviously the first thing that strikes the mind is the political leader. The political leaders have the overriding influence on all other categories of leaders. They build or break, create or destroy the destinies of Nations. When Iacocca indicates that the “War on Drugs” has consumed $ 1 trillion, and nothing tangible is achieved, what he is referring to is the failure at the level of creation and implementation of drug related policies—the failure of the concerned leadership. A leader should not be arrogant, cowardly or ignorant. The nine characteristics of leadership often discussed and also mentioned in this book are Charisma, Character, Common Sense, Communicator, Courage, Creativity, Curiosity, Conviction, and Competency.
Four traits Iacocca learnt from others are also the important qualities of leadership: They are Common Sense, Discipline, and Optimism and above all Love (this quality from his mother.)A leader needs to be a no-nonsense individual and should be unafraid to speak his mind. He must stand by the truth at all times and at all costs, because only such an approach will be beneficial in the long run. To talk specifically about the political leader, in this modern materialistic civilization deeply impacted by industrial and internet revolutions, one needs to have a fine sense of business and commerce and capable of finding creative solutions to the related problems. A leader must truly love democracy, believe in transparency and must possess a strong will about the growth of the Nation. He needs to address special concern for the future of children and the combustible younger generation. The people expect something different from a National level leader or the leader representing them at their local level. To fulfill their aspirations, the leader has got to be creative. With the arrival in the scene of a new leader, the people expect a change and the leader should know how to manage the change.
A leader should also be a good communicator, and say what is appropriate to the occasion
Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” A leader must be an individual of character. He must know how-to lead the people to be basically sound and industrious and to create basic conditions for the people to become basically sound and industrious.
How do I rate myself as a leader?
I am an excellent leader but I do not know who my followers are. The option I am offering is the tough one which will fructify in the long run. Will this impatient generation, that believes in shirking responsibility and buttering people to get quick returns, is inclined to adopt my principles? According to me, what our leaders lack and why I am a leader with a difference is, I sincerely feel, the only panacea to mitigate the present misery of people, is to give them the dose of spirituality. The pages of human history daubed in bloodshed related to wars, violence, aggrandizement for power and wealth, ruthless fights for territorial gains, race and ethnic conflicts, ask the crying question. How to make this Planet earth heaven-like? The answer is simple and direct. Eyes full of understanding, hearts full of love and the life that refuses conflicts-enough, these alone are enough! As a responsible leader I would like to find permanent solutions for the problems of humanity—and that according to me, is possible by spiritualizing business activities and politics. I shall make sincere efforts to lead the society on this path.
Lee Iacocca (2007): Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
Hardcover: 192 pages
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