What makes a good leader?

Syazuin Sazali


Syazuin Sazali
31 Oct 2022 08:06am
Illustrative purposes (Source: 123rf)
Illustrative purposes (Source: 123rf)

Remember when we were children? Everything was less complicated and we saw things either in black or white. Nothing in between. At all. I like this; therefore, I want this. I detest this and so, I couldn’t care less. What a simple approach to life. Less critical.

Some might say ignorance is bliss, but with ignorance, comes harm and destruction.

Black and white thinking is the tendency to think in extremes: it keeps us from seeing the world as it often is: multi-faceted and full of the shades in between.

Nowadays, the concept of leadership is becoming very influential in political, financial, educational and social arena. From the smaller institutions like family, every organisation and even the world body at large needs good leaders for the development of post-modern civilisation.

When I was in school, I had a few local leaders I adored and looked up to. I admired their capabilities and strength to bring changes to a beautiful developing country.

I too, adored the way they managed, led and put the country’s name at the forefront of Asia and the World map. I could only see their amazing characteristics and therefore I followed suit, wanting a slight percentage of those charisma in me while building my confidence.

Well, those are the good parts. As I grew and be more aware of my surroundings, things started becoming more and more complex.

So many corruptions and injustices surfaced. Misconduct, bribery, bias and prejudice in terms of religion, gender, race, age, family and health backgrounds cropped up and the list goes on and on.

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When it comes to politics, politicians thrive and survive through the lens of public opinion. There are numerous personality and party types emerging from the political spectrum. Thus, most often than not, there will be those who lie, ones who are

indifferent, and those who over-claim behind their true capable self. Hence, the importance of public awareness and education; be educated and critical thinkers, always. Do not be manipulated easily. Be confident that you’re in control.

The right time is never going to come, we have to create it. Not taking an action is also an action. Not making a choice is also a choice.

“Sadly, in the world we live in, choices are limited. When it comes to choosing the right candidate for election purposes, I tend to go for the less evil,” said Nur Salsabila Khalid, who has voted twice.

With the imperfection of humans, in order to appear more credible; gaining legitimate trust and dependability of voters, “dirty little secrets” of the rivals will tend to leak. Be it through social media, or other platforms we cannot even imagine. No longer will it be little then. To add insult to injury, peppers and spices will be added to the story.

Then, the complication grows.

Each and everyone from different parties will go on a wild goose chase and there will be that culture of back-biting, back-stabbing, sabotaging, and the cycle repeats itself therefore creating a political culture of backsliding; to return to old often bad habits or worse condition because of the toxic culture (even when they’ve tried to improve and repent).

Is there a way out of this? An all-or-nothing mindset doesn’t allow us to find the middle ground. But, does that mean political leaders are allowed to jump parties incessantly?

Thinking dichotomously; in black and white is important for human’s survival, but if it becomes a habit, it can lead leaders to bias and prejudice, utmost greed and therefore excluding one entirely from being a good leader as they sabotage themselves and the country they manage.

I’m sure every one of us is a leader. We are all either managing a country, institution, department, home or those around us (some even all at once at one go). After all, leadership is an integral part of life of the human being.

A good leader transforms the potential of people into reality. Just, inspirational, obedient, wise, and a person of highest integrity are all qualities of a good leader.

As an educator, I believe that on top of all those fundamentals, the best leaders are passionate about developing the emerging leaders around them, constantly working to improve their emotional intelligence and skills and know that a strong team culture with trustworthy financial values will accomplish the mission; thus, getting the job done.

Those in authority or power must lead with fairness fulfilling their constituent’s trust and be fully accountable for their actions.

Life is not always black and white. It’s a million shades of grey.

Leaders continuously need to make hard decisions. Make or break, or so people thought it would be.

But when you’re at that position, possessing that much power and if you’re lack of religious values, ethics and morale, it will definitely destroy you.

No human is perfect but to repeat offenses or to do so extravagantly without shame or guilt is truly unacceptable. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

SYAZUIN SAZALI is a Subject Matter Expert in soft skills. She aims to continuously advocate for progressive growth in education.

Linkedin & Instagram: @syazuinsazali, Email: [email protected]

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