Allan Cahoon: Real leaders want to make a difference, not enhance their egos

From sunny ways to challenging days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s leadership is the subject of national debate today. The gap between what we expect from our political leaders and what we are experiencing is colossal. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh both are hoping that their political leadership will be enhanced by debate in parliament. We don’t seem to be able to judge their leadership based on how they address the important challenges we face.

In research, leadership is defined by a leader’s ability to mobilize resources necessary to achieve the goals they have identified. Successful leaders are evaluated on their ability to apply their skills to addressing the leadership situations they face.

Nevertheless, many people bemoan the current state of our political leadership and resulting inference of the loss of ethical, principled direction in the political realm. Where are the outstanding leaders of the past? The inspiring individuals who successfully charted us away from danger and positioned us on a course of success based on our safety, protection and peace — leaders who led our economic, social and cultural progress.

These days, we teach the importance of cultivating positive leadership, mindful leaders, enabling leaders — leaders who lead from behind, rather than in front by signalling direction and mobilizing the necessary resources to support that direction. Leaders who effectively “boundary manage” economic, social and political resources in order to provide the necessary capital and human resources in order to succeed in the direction that has been laid out collaboratively.

In traditional leadership theory, ideal leadership was identified as “the Great Man,” a heroic style leadership reflecting individuals as forceful, uncompromising, decisive and driven. When transported into a discussion of political leadership, these “heroic” leaders were often identified as “statesman,” political leaders with a higher sense of purpose acting for the …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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