by Antony Last
Stop and think about political leadership in South Africa.
Zuma. There is a lot we could say about him.
Many people don’t like him right now.
But the most important thing about Jacob Zuma is that he is not good.
According to Beliefnet (http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/galleries/top-5-qualities-of-good-political-leaders.aspx) good political leaders have the following five characteristics – honesty, compassion, integrity, confidence and flexibility. Zuma probably only has one of these qualities, confidence, and it is sadly mostly misplaced.
Steve Richards (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/here-are-the-qualities-you-need-to-be-a-top-political-leader-9633829.html) identifies the following areas in which a person must excel to be a top political leader – communication, experience, policies, energy, courage and criticism. Again, Zuma apparently only qualifies in one of these aspects, criticism, as he seems impervious to the justifiedly negative things many people say about him.
So we say that Zuma is not a good political leader. There are other political leaders in South Africa whom we could say are also not good, and how many are there of whom you could say they are good?
In South Africa we truly need good political leaders, and if not many at least a few who can stand up and show themselves for who they are, willing and able to lead this great country of ours in the right way.
So we, inspired by what we have read and thought about, create our own list of qualities which we believe good political leaders should have:
- Honest – includes honesty and integrity mentioned above
- Kind – includes compassion mentioned above
- Openminded – includes criticism mentioned above
- Motivated – includes energy mentioned above
- Creative – includes flexibility, communication and policies mentioned above
- Balanced – includes experience mentioned above
- Humble – includes confidence and courage mentioned above
We came up with 10 qualities of good political leaders and 7 of them include in one way or another all 11 qualities given by the two articles referred to above, making a total of 20 separately identifiable qualities. So we have 3 more qualities than they, being fairness, strictness and humour.
And, evaluating Zuma on these three, he possesses only a marginal humour.
Thus on the scale of the 20 qualities for being a good political leader, our president possesses 3, confidence, (ability to handle) criticism and humour, and lacks 17, fairness, honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion, openmindedness, strictness, motivation, energy, creativeness, flexibility, communication, policies, balance, experience, humility and courage.
This means that we are actually facing deep trouble in South Africa, unless we get some really good political leaders into power. We are the people and we have the power to put good political leaders into positions of power.
In order to achieve this, you will be typically looking for people with the following qualities – fairness, honesty, kindness, openmindedness, strictness, motivation, creativeness, balance, humour and humility.