‘New leadership’

Published March 21, 2018

THIS is apropos the article ‘New leadership’ (March 13). Managerial leadership, under overarching heading ‘communication’, is taught in all management schools.

There are about 12 managerial styles (autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, country-club, etc.). Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton developed a leadership grid based on ‘concern for production’ (‘Theory X’ or task orientation as in military organisations) and ‘concern for people’ (‘Theory Y’).

Definition of political leadership is elusive. ‘Integrity’ and ‘accountability’ are generally regarded as most important elements of political leadership. Historically, elite or pauper background has never been a fetter to a political leader’s feet.

Aristotle had slaves in his household. He had an above-average lifestyle. He approved demokratia as the best political systems he studied. Yet, he feared lest the majoritarian demos (people) should pass laws to confiscate his property. Socrates also was well off. Even presiding officer of the court who headed jury against Socrates lived on a shoe-string budget.

Pro-rich American founding father James Madison solved Aristotelian conundrum. He proposed an upper house as a bulwark against legislative vulgarities of the lower house. Abraham Lincoln was a free man, not a slave. Yet he abolished slavery (A BBC documentary dubs Lincloln a psychopath who subconsciously thought he was a slave).

Good management schools could produce good managerial leaders, not political leaders. Leaders are not products of their backgrounds, but of their circumstances (la force de choses, to quote title of Jean Paul Sartre’s book).

In today’s Pakistan, there is no one who ‘leads’; all harangue to appeal to baser sentiments of the gallery of gullible goats (Noam Chomsky calls even the American masses ‘a bewildered herd’).

Aeimen Malik

Rawalpindi

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2018

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