What is wrong with our current leadership?

2012-12-27 23:57

The fact that the Mo Ibrahim  Foundation,three years in the running, could make no award for any political  leaders  for "Achievements in African Leadership"  I recommend that our  leadership, in fact every political leader aspiring for leadership of either his  or her people and country should  go out and buy and read 'The Leadership of  Muhammad' by John Adair. I  certainly have.

So my question:" What is wrong with our current crop of leaders? What are the salient  qualities that they lack?" For the record former president Nelson Mandela was awarded,   albeit as  a honorary, the award when the prize was inaugurated in 2006!  The "Leadership of Muhammad" delves  into the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and it provides an instructive as  well as illuminating insight into the  methods by which the Prophet of Islam  conducted himself as a leader.  Whilst it is not a full biographical account of  Muhammad’s life, and as  John Adair declares, it  is not set out to be a manual  on leadership.Rather it discusses the many aspects of leadership by drawing on   the characteristics of the prophet, the criteria’s of which led him to be  regarded by many, past and present,  admirers and detractors alike as the most  profound figure in the history of mankind. Adair conducted a fascinating study  on the qualities, which to this day make Muhammad to stand out as one of the  most fascinating figures to  study on the role of leadership in the twenty-first  century post apartheid South Africa.  Qualities such as trust, humility,  integrity, and striving in times of hardship, are themes at the core of the  book  and highlight how these attributes allowed the prophet to execute  action-inspired leadership.

President Zuma et al would truly  benefit if this book is studied by them and put into practical effect and,  readers rest assured, the negative insinuations against the prophet such as  jihad etc are nowhere profiled in this incredible book available in bookshops  throughout South Africa. Briefly, if I am permitted, Adair  explains in the book that  a true leader serves those whom he or she leads, both  as a group and also as individuals. If one studies the life of Muhammad,this was  very much evident in his entire life both before and during prophethood, and as  Adair posits, on a wider scale it is reflective of  the universal expectations  of what true leadership entails.

By why Muhammad? Perhaps using Muhammad as a  prime case study example was in the context to demonstrate the sheer scale of  his achievement in the community of Islam or, as we Muslims refer to it as the  Ummah. Real  leadership involves a process of delivering what the community  needs and is felt not by the individual  who is initiating and catalysing change  but by the people whom this change is aiming to reach. So,shame that the Mo Ibrahim  Foundation could find no leader in Africa worthy for the prize in "African  Leadership" three years running and we need to seriously take stock of those  whom we elect as leaders.

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