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Leadership in the Society
by Maina Kabukuru
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"Leadership in a Society"

As oxen, sheep . . .and other such unreasonable creatures cannot for lack of reason rule themselves, but must be ruled by a more excellent creature, that is man . . . he is not able to rule himself, but must have a more excellent governor." (Dr. John Ponet).

Leadership is what politics is all about. It is the division and allocation of resources in an equitable and well-planned manner. The very nature of man is that he needs and requires leadership. It is the need for order and conflict free environment that forces man or humanity for that matter to resort to leadership in various ways.

The treatise today is a practical response to justifying the need of leadership and the reasons for the need. I propose to venture in this very controversial subject with respect and trepidation. With respect because leadership is unique and can only be viewed and explained within a context and not in isolation. With trepidation because, there are very many fallacies about leadership that have been floated for personal political conveniences.

Leadership is the legal allocation of power to individuals qualified for the positions and the appropriation of power in a just and lawful way. This is both voluntary and involuntary; voluntary in democratic societies and involuntary in non-democratic societies.

Democratic societies are deemed to be those communities that have unanimously through ballot or consensus to have the reins of leadership vested in individuals or groups vide personal and universal suffrage. Non-democratic societies are those communities that through voluntary or non-voluntary process allow for leadership to be usurped by either individuals or an elite group.

Political power is the responsibility to make decisions and choices for and on behalf of others; either through voluntary relinquishing of power to elected persons or vide consensus and also through non-voluntary forms. Some of which are through force by dictatorial usurpation or through emergencies.

Electoral processes differ in all societies but are greatly similar in most modern societies. They are those that invoke gods in their processes of electing leadership and the same are confirmed through religious sign akin to each group.

Then they are those whose confirmation of leadership within a given community is dictated by their acceptance to the general populace of the given communities. Other communities procedures depend with other factors that essentially are locally influenced.

Leadership is both acquired and achieved. Acquired because there are those communities that are governed vide hereditary form of leadership and achieved because sometimes emergencies such as war, tragic incidences can raise persons who serve the purposes of the moments with laudable distinction.

Leadership is both short term based and long term based depending with the needs of the moments. Short term based because the exigencies of the moment determine the length of time needed.

Tasks of the moment determine the roles the leaders play in a given time frame. It should also be noted that moments of time taken determine tasks and the roles used in a given time-line.

Leadership can define a personality or can be defined by a personality too. Political leadership depending with the time and the exigencies of the moment will take on a different personality profile.

Leadership is a part from being an office it is a co-operate social personality with a life of its own and that mutates according to both season and the exigencies involved. By an office here I mean, a set of rules and roles that govern the position and the persons' involved. Cooperate Social personality is what can be understood to be the effects of a community on the leadership style and personality on the individual deemed to be a leader.

There are individuals, who define the personality, the role and the portrait of the leader in a given area of expertise. Then there are those leaders who are essentially leaders by default and under siege.

Independent leaders, are those persons who set trends, chart course in starless nights, and built roads where there were none. Leaders under siege are persons who project the will of the people to their detriment.

Leaders are in all spheres. There are those who are military strategists whose work is to fight and protect. Others are those whose work is to build and gather resources. There are leaders whose work is to maintain what is already built by others.

Then there are pioneer founders and there are those who work is given towards human resources mobilization and development. Leadership affects both persons and the environment. For instance military leaderships tend to be destructive in its nature at differing times and reconstructive and redemptive at other times.

Leaders come in all shape and colour as it were. This is because for some reason or the other, people follow or hand over their authority and power to whoever serves their fancies.

History is replete with leaders unto death and those unto life. It is full of contradictions, when murderers are referred to as redeemers and redeemers referred to as murderers. Our yesterdays' leadership heroes and heroines are today's villains. We deserve the leaders that we have and we define them too.

Moses the great builder and founder of Judaism both as a religion and as a nation was complemented by the stubborn pharaoh whose heart was hardened by the very God who sent Moses. Both were leaders, both did their jobs and were relentless in trying to achieve their goals. One had his army drown in the Red Sea in pursuit of the other, while the other had his multitude crossing over the Red Sea as on a dry land. Both claimed to do that which the Providence required of them?

Leadership does not operate in a vacuum, it operates within time and space; it is a component driven by both but defined by chance. It is true that all leaders are born because I never heard of any leader who was never born. (Interactive: maichk@yahoo.co.uk)

kabukuru f.m.
p.o. box 5251 - 00506
Nairobi, Kenya

copyright 2007 kabukuru f.m.

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