Leaders versus Misleaders

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Prof. Dr Ahmed K. Bareas

Director of the Center for Strategic Studies

Since ancient times, people of diverse ethnicities, religions, and goals have been enthralled by the terms “leadership” and “leader“, until they put theories to explain it, some of which was considered the leader as a divine gift, and put branched patterns almost difficult to surround them, and even difficult to separate those patterns in many cases. Many individuals called themselves leaders, and sought with all their might to prove this title to themselves, whatever the methods that could be adopted. But an important question who can be called a leader?

 In his book (Managing for the Future: The 1990s and beyond) (Peter Drucker), one of the most important theorists of administrative thought the most important thing that distinguishes real leadersfrom misleaders are five characteristics, the first two characteristics are concerned with the cognitive ability and strategic thinking of leaders and his functional and mental skills, while the last three characteristics focused on matters related to the behavioral and human aspect of the leader and as follows:

1- The first and most important tasks of the leader is to determine with complete accuracy what is the mission of the institution that he leads, in the sense of what are the current tasks that the institution must undertake in order to achieve its future vision, without accurately defining the current tasks, all the efforts and resources that the institution possesses will be wasted, or at least the amount of achievement will be much less than the capabilities that have been recruited to achieve the goals of the institution.
2- The great tasks of any leader, whether institutional, political or even military, is sets goals that his institution, political entity or military unit seeks to achieve, and what are the priorities that must be dealt with in order to achieve those goals, in addition to the criteria for achieving them, meaning when we can say that the goal has been achieved.
3- A true leader is one who views leadership as a task and a great responsibility  falls on him, seeking through his leadership position to serve the members of his institution and elevate them and institution to the highest ranks, not a privilege through which he achieves gains at the expense of his institution in which he works.
4- Although a true leader is characterized by great knowledge, insight and holistic thinking, this does not prevent him from consulting other individuals in certain areas, the leader is not infallible, nor is he surrounded by all kinds of knowledge. Therefore, we see that a leader is one who surrounds himself with strong, knowledgeable and real opinion persons theiropinions can contribute to real change in the institution. On the contrary, misleaders surround themselves with weak opinion persons , their only concern is to say what pleases misleaders, and to defend his positions, even if it wrong. The real leader is the one who works to form other leaders within his institution, party or state, while misleader is the only leader, who adopts the saying ( after me the flood).
5- Integrity, respect and trust are the three most important characteristics that a leader should have and distinguish him from a misleader. Indeed, trust is the result of integrity and respect. When a leader is honest, he will certainly gain the respect of his subordinates, and this respect will certainly turn into complete confidence in what the leader says and does in the interest of the group.

  The latter adjectives, although mentioned at the end of the ranking, but they are of great importance. When the leader himself begins with what his followers command, when he is the first to apply what he says, when the poorest citizen in his country lives his life ( Imam Amir al-Mu’minin PBUH) when he presents his children and family in front of his supporters when the fight against principles intensifies in front of falsehood (Imam Hussein PBUH), and when he wears the simplest clothes that he made with his own hand.   Sorry for the poor of his people and the destitute (Gandhi), and when he stays in prison for decades without uttering a word weakens the mettle of the militants outside the prison walls, and when he comes out of prison did not demand compensation for the years spent in prison, and did not cling to a high position (Mandala), then we say that we are in front of a real leader, and the rest is, unfortunately, a misleader.