The Focused Leader


“A nation is inspired by the thoughts and actions of its leaders, both political and spiritual.”

I read these lines recently and it directed my thoughts to think what true leadership is? Is it merely having an upper hand and controlling others, telling them what to do and when to do it? Is it merely raising the protest and governing it, is it merely in the long speeches and monologues? Is it obtained through fear, restrictions and punishments?

Great leaders don’t tell people what to do, but instead take them to where they need to be.

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”  – Ronald Reagan”

A true leader inspires even the youngest mind and is followed by millions, not because he is feared but because he is respected by all.

I have grown up being inspired by one of India’s iconic leader “Baharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee”, like most of us in India. It was then when I had least knowledge of politics, when I was barely aware of country’s economic situations or what lay beyond the scope of our school syllabus. But what inspired me even then his work and his way with words! An exceptional orator!

I remember one of his speeches where he advocated his vision to transform India into one of the biggest global economies and motivated the nation to becoming a better, more educated and a first world nation. He emphasized in his speech:

“Our aim should be to make India a global R&D hub.”

The secret that lies behind the prosperity of nations is simple but profound: ideas matter and this requires effective leadership. There is a direct link between Good Governance, effective leadership and economic prosperity. This is relevant by the difference between African and Asian countries, many of which started their history as states at the same point in the 1960s which is striking. It is evident from the facts that the lack of effective leadership could be one of the many causes for Africa’s lagging behind from the rest of the world.

The vision of our former Prime Minister; to build a productive economy and a stable society needs pragmatist as a leader—one who has knowledge and skill to restructure the system, and thus, would resist the temptation to maintain the status quo.