This is an idea that helps us to understand political processes and their outcomes. In the world, we have players in politics that aspire to become leaders and it is expected that they should the basic qualities that qualify them. The case is not so as what we have today are lots of political leaders who lack the important leadership qualities. Many of them lack the ideals that should make them good examples to others in society.
The importance of political leaders cannot be overemphasized and their focus should be on the things that benefit their country and not for personal gain.
Responsibilities of Good Political Leaders
1. They maintain high standards in discharging their official assignments
A good political leader maintains standard in carrying out their work and ensures that those who work with them are focused and committed.
2. They establish the right institutions that fosters ethical behaviour
These type of leaders focus on building institutions and not just people so that a system would be put in place to stand the test of time.
3. They enforce sanctions against wrong-doers
They put in place measures that would punish offenders and ensure that there are no scape goats.
4. They do not bend the rules for political purposes
They ensure that the rule of law is established in the land and everyone is expected to obey it. Those
who run foul of the law are not spared regardless of their political affiliations.
Qualities that make a Good Political Leader
1. A good political leader should have charisma and integrity.
For leaders to excel in their political positions there is need for them to exhibit a high level of integrity while discharging their duties. With this, those who work with them will also live above board.
2. They should be able to make the right decision.
Good political leaders are expected to know the good from bad and to handle situations wisely. They are expected to take the right decisions which will benefit the people at all times.
3. They should be loyal to the people they serve.
Loyalty is required of all leaders regardless if they are political or not. Their first loyalty should be to their country.
4. They should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
Political leaders that do well must have a good communication system in order to carry their people along. They would need to be able to pass across their ideas and programmes so that everyone understands the vision of the leader.
5. They should be people of strong and reputable character.
Such leaders are expected to have a good reputation and blameless character to be able to succeed in their political office. There are a lot of temptations against people in political offices that only such leaders can withstand.
6. They should be good listeners and willing to attend to the needs of their people.
Political leaders that perform well are known to be good listeners and are willing to receive sound advice which would help them in the discharge if their duties. They should also show that they are empathic towards the people they lead.
7. They must be courageous.
Leaders should be bold and courageous as they would be required to make strong and touch decisions. Political leadership is not for those that are faint-hearted but for those who are strong in heart.
8. They must be hard workers
The success of a political leader does not come easy but requires hard work and determination. They should be ready to go the extra mile for the good of their people.
9. They must be willing to work cordially with their team.
A good political leader must be a good team player and ready to work well with
members of his cabinet. This will reduce friction and ensure the success of their government.
10. They must have a vision and the will to pursue it to fulfilment.
A good political leader must have a concrete vision and must be willing to do all that it takes to achieve it.
11. They take responsibility
A good political leader does not shy away from taking responsibility for his actions. They stand by their decisions whenever it is required.
12. They do not put others down
A good political leader does not pull others down in order to go up. They work together with others for the common good and tries to avoid conflicts and tension.
13. They make realistic promises
Good political leaders are people of honor and strive to say only what they would do. Their word to them is their bond.
14. They pursue their goals without distraction
A good political leader develops and pursues his goals till they are achieved. Their focus is usually on establishing sustainable development road map rather than temporary fixes which may not stand the test of time.
Why Political Leaders Fail
1. They are not accountable
Political leaders fail because they lack accountability and do not hold those who work with them accountable for their actions.
2. They do not take responsibility
Political leaders fail because they refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They shift it and blame others for their failure.
3. They do not listen to advice
Leaders who fail in these positions feel that they know it all and refuse to listen to their advisers or counsellors. They take decisions as they like which in the process leads to disharmony.
Types of Political Leaders
There are different types of political leaders in every country of the world. At the national level, you may have the President or Prime Minister, Monarch and Dictator.
President/Prime Minister - They are elected by the citizens of their country to lead them and this type of government is known as democracy.
Monarch - This may be a King or Queen and is inherited from one generation to the other. For example, England has the Queen of England as her monarch.
Dictator - This is someone that leads a country by force until they are removed by someone else.