True leadership is honourable. True leaders care about humanity, about the environment and know that any power they have gained is not to be squandered on petty politics or short term interests. They lead those who choose to follow them to a better place. And in the process, they devolve those leadership skills to others, so that honourable leadership promotes and sustains honourable behaviour in others.
Positive leadership behaviour does not require power in an authoritarian sense, although it does require courage. Most people, at least in a free democratic society, have more power to act in accordance with their values and with long-term objectives in mind than they often realise. Sadly though, they are all too often tricked, intimidated or misinformed by others seeking to maintain a status quo or prosecute their own selfish or greedy agenda. So it is at election time in many of our so-called democratic communities.
Since we can no longer adequately trust our civic leaders to act in our own best interests (think the environment, universal health care and education, equitable access to infrastructure and telecommunications, opportunities for employment, a fair and equitable taxation and justice system, etc), leadership must emerge from within, not from above. We must assume personal responsibility to support those among us who can act honourably, who can be expected to think strategically and explain the reasons for ‘short term pain for long term gain’, that any worthwhile success requires some level of sacrifice and hard work. If it’s easy, and if it’s a handout, fair chance we are being conned.
As our world and our communities are being challenged like never before, and evil, violence and danger is ever lurking in the shadows, we need honourable leadership to step forward. Seek to support honourable leaders, wherever leadership is required (mostly everywhere), else we risk being the victims of abuse. The power is with you, choose wisely.