On Leadership

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Due to the multiple crises challenging our civilization today, the need for good, effective leadership to provide solutions has never been greater. Unfortunately, many national and local leaders are exacerbating these crises by succumbing to the attraction of power and wealth. Their individual and group interests often privilege one section of the population while disadvantaging others, exacerbating social conflicts and injustices.

Recognizing the critical need for worthy leaders in establishing a better society, Prout proposes the idea of sadvipras or “good  leaders” which embody the following qualities of leadership:

1.      Moral and Spiritual Strength – This is the most important attribute of leadership since a leader’s lack of moral integrity will eventually degrade a society. Leadership needs to be based on a commitment to a set of universal ethical principles which ensure benevolent thinking and conduct. As moral character is often tempted by the rewards of wealth, power and fame, the cultivation of spiritual consciousness is also essential for strengthening a leader’s ethical behavior.

 2.      Dedication to the Collective Welfare – Good leaders need to think and act for the wellbeing of everyone who they represent or lead. Although human beings are naturally swayed by group sentiments towards particular territories or social groups, leaders must be able to transcend these narrow sympathies by developing true love for all humanity.

3.       Spiritedness – Good leaders must be ever vigilant and active in identifying exploitation and corruption in society and actively work to remove these impediments from society. This may involve employing various strategies, including raising people’s consciousness, developing better policies, and replacing corrupt or incompetent public officials with honest ones.

 4.      Competency –In our complex world today, it is not possible for anyone to have the capacity to understand and resolve all problems.  Hence, competent leaders must acquire sufficient knowledge and experience in order to choose counsel wisely, to delegate responsibilities effectively, and ultimately to make prudent decisions.

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