Iconic Leadership

Leadership should be viewed as service

April 2010 One of the key elements in safely resolving the crisis of the western world and ultimately moving towards a Sentient World is the concept of how power is wielded by our political leaders, and all those in positions of authority. The Greeks recognized two of the expressions of power, which we might naively call "good power" and "bad power". They believed that power in itself is not good or bad, anymore than anger is good or bad. Yet its expression can be harmful or beneficial, damaging or appropriate.

In ancient Greece, a man might use one kind of power (despos) toward slaves, but use a different kind of power (kyros) to his wife and children. In that patriarchal system, men held the power in the culture - yet vocabulary itself helped men understand appropriate expression of their authority over others. Kyros indicates a legitimate, but boundaried, compassionate moral authority whose wielder takes into consideration the good of those over whom it is exercised. Such restricted power is never abused for self interest. If we combine the concept of Kyros with the perspective that leadership should be viewed as service to those that are being led, then we have a value system that should define the most basic element requirements of leadership by which all should be measured.

Leadership vision and good judgement

One of the key roles of leadership is to provide the vision to move the group or nation from one place to another of safety that enhances collective wellbeing. Naturally good judgement is necessary, without which the vision to which one commits may be flawed.

Leadership and Empowerment

Very often a vision may not initially be shared by the group or nation, and so has to be imparted to as many as possible in such a way as the vision is shared and the group or nation is collectively empowered to achieve the vision

Leadership and Courage

Even then a visionary leader may face opposition in his or her actions until the outcome is successful, and the role of a leader can at times be very lonely, during which periods courage, determination and a deep inner strength and sense of purpose are all requirements of good leadership.

Only when we have been able to manifest Iconic leaders once more in our old western world, and in the USA especially, will we be able to have the chance to avert disaster in the coming two decades.

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