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OPINION | Qualities of an ideal political leader

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OPINION: Qualities of an ideal political leader
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“Leadership in the political framework requires a focus on the long-term good of a country, above and ahead of any personal short-term gains….”

By Mumin Khan Turk
7 Nov 2020

The world is full of aspiring political leaders but sadly, very few live up to the leadership ideals. In fact, many political leaders seem to severely lack some of the most important leadership qualities, such as integrity and accountability. It is no coincidence that for many people, the word “politician” has such negative connotations! However, history – and present day – shows us that there are still a few who come close to the leadership ideals and who are good examples of an effective political leader.
Leadership In A Political Framework Political leaders are vitally important – through the authority of government, they assess the distribution of power and resources, build relationships with other stakeholders and make decisions that can have great impact on the well-being of a nation and its people. Leadership in the political framework requires a focus on the long-term good of a country, above and ahead of any personal short-term gains. Good political leadership requires a combination of charisma and integrity, as well as the ability to assess a situation and make a decision based on what would be best for the greatest number of people. Most of all, leadership in a political framework requires ‘statesmanship’ – as opposed to just being a ‘politician’ – this means having the integrity and willingness to stand up for what is right, even if it means resigning a position in government or losing an election.
What Makes A Good Political Leader? Ironically, those who make good political leaders are often those who least want the position in the first place! These are individuals who do not seek power but who have authority conferred upon them by others who value their judgement. So what makes a good political leader? A good political leader is:
someone who serves as an example of integrity and loyalty to the people they represent, both to the public and to other political leaders .someone with good communication and inter-personal skills, who can work with a range of other people, regardless of political party or opinion, to achieve the greatest good for the general population. someone who can resist the various temptations and lures of the political arena someone of strong character, with both conscience and charisma someone willing to listen to the needs of the common people and to represent them faithfully someone with the courage to stand up and say what needs to be said – rather than just tell the general public what it wants to hear someone who is willing to make difficult (and possibly unpopular) decisions for the greater good. An effective political leader will have a leadership style that focuses on coalition and building, while an ineffective leadership situation results from a leader who is a “hustler” – i.e.. who uses manipulation to get what they want, instead of inspiration and motivation. While negotiation and even coercion are sometimes necessary, a good political leader will always try to use persuasion first.
Taking Responsibility…One of the key leadership qualities many political leaders lack is ability to take responsibility. A lot of political leaders are very adept at pointing the finger at everyone else and few seem able to accept responsibility for their mistakes, admit their political failures and acknowledge their own contribution to a problem. Accountability is crucial to effective political leadership, as without this, there will be no respect from the followers. A good political leader is someone who will be honest and responsible for their own actions and decisions and who is willing to admit when they have made a mistake. They will focus their energies and time on representing the people rather than spending all the time “covering their backs” and criticizing others.
Respecting people irrespective of cast and religion.
A political leader must have an ability to treat every person equal be it a person in his opposition, when you want to work for the welfare of people and country then you have to follow only one religion that is humanity. There are crores of politicians across the world but people of this universe remember only few of them why is it so? People remember those leader’s only who have left marks for next 7 generations with their exceptional work, messages of love, peace and harmony. Leader must have a broader vision for their people, for poorer sections of society and moreover, leaders need to possess a humanitarian heart, which doesn’t differentiates between rich and poor.
A leader must be a good communicator, and that is greatly helped if he has a way with words. But all the rhetorical flourish is of no avail if the speech lacks sincerity and conviction. A conviction with no relation to truth or actual outcomes is dishonest. Eloquence, though a good quality, is hollow without truth. Isn’t it better to quietly do the job at hand rather than make grandiose claims or promises that can’t be kept?
Remains level headed and has a sense of humor. A good political leader has a healthy emotional IQ and has learned to move above his emotions, conditionings, and his fixations to specific outcomes to think logically and globally. In other words, he is rational and in control of his emotions and when the public is going through the emotional roller coaster, he is there to guide them through it.
Thinks globally and acts locally. This is one of the most important trait in a good Political leader,  he realizes that in order for us to live in prosperity as a powerful and blessed country, reasonable steps need to be taken to make sure others achieve the same goals. He is aware that with power comes responsibility and that now more than ever, through technology, we are becoming more and more inner related, globally.
Finally, a good leader knows that nothing can be achieved without the collective expertise and wisdom of a support team. And when it comes to the entire country, such a team consists of a battalion of groups and institutions. How should members of such teams be picked? It is tempting to induct people who belong to a common caste, region or religion. But such people are prejudiced in their thinking, serve their own particular group or merely themselves. They can’t be good for the country as a whole. A good leader must rise above narrow, irrelevant considerations to select his team.
It is important to know that there is really no evidence indicating leaders are innately born.  While some people have more of a predisposed personality for it but all people can become a great leader with enough determination, self reflection, open mindedness, experience and knowledge.  

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