Leading Blog






09.20.06

Exemplary Leadership

Michael Dingake wrote this piece on leading by example in Mmegi, Botswana's daily independent newspaper. Here is an excerpt:
botswana
Any leader who like my clownish primary school teacher who used to say, "Do as I say, not as I do," cannot be a true leader. Leaders must be role models. Any leader who speaks like my teacher forfeits the role model status and is disqualified for leadership ambitions. Leaders who do not inspire emulation can at best be regarded as incompetents, perhaps clowns on the political stage. Exemplariness is a non-negotiable leadership quality.

[C]an we assume that all leaders at whatever hierarchical rung of leadership, share equal responsibility and are ipso facto expected to display equal exemplary behaviour? The American President, Truman said the buck stops at his door! He meant that the higher the responsibility of office, the higher the level of commitment to other exemplary leadership qualities like independent-mindedness, integrity, courage, impartiality and so forth.

Exemplariness is one of the most important leadership qualities one can think of. In the political arena, the governing party is not on the same social status rung as the parties in opposition for numerous reasons. The governing party is endowed with power, authority influence and resources. Public expectation, trust, hope and demand, is that the party entrusted with such responsibility has to demonstrate exemplary trustworthiness and not abuse the powers, authority and the resources under its control.
Exemplary leadership or leadership deserving of imitation is what Aristotle would call virtue in action. It's authentic. Not just talking the talk, but putting it into action. Our lives must correspond to the truth which we proclaim. Often times this means transcending our own egos. Leadership isn't something you turn off and on. It's a reality you express.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:33 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Government , Leadership



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