Who is a Leader?


The leader is a person who can take his followers to success.

The Leader of a country should lead the country to the success of most of the citizens, if not all of the citizens. 

Leading a few individuals to success is easy.  That’s what mafia dons do.

Mafia dons are not leaders.

intellectuals cannot be leaders.  Experts in any filed cannot be leaders.  Intellectuals cannot take the people with them.  The people won’t understand them.  Imagine Noam Chomsky as a leader, for example.  He would be an absolute failure in spite of the fact that he can diagnose the problems of the world.  Experts are too linear in their thinking.  A scientist, for example, can only think scientifically.  And science is only a small part of life.  Technology too is only a small part of human life, in spite of the fact that it plays a great role in the materialistic aspect of life today.  Make Bill Gates the President of America and see what will happen.

Unfortunately, today leadership is confused with management.  People like Arindham Choudhary who can spend crores of rupees [dollars] to advertise a book that is worth a few paise [pennies] have converted leadership into management.   “Thorns to Competition,” is his latest book co-authored by another person who was a nobody till yesterday but will be a management guru tomorrow, thanks to advertisement.

What is that management?  Kill the opponent.  The opponent is the thorn that has to be eliminated. 

That is management in the capitalist system.  That is leadership in the capitalist system.  In that system, you will see the leader sitting in an air-conditioned room while his/her staff will toil from morning till late into night in rooms that stink of filth.  In that system, you will see exploitation of labour, sale of products, and accumulation of profits in air-conditioned rooms.  [Poor managers cannot even manage to sell the products and the blame will be transferred to the workers.  The bad manager blames his staff.]

Who is a leader?

Gandhi was a leader.  The Mahatma, I mean.  His method was beyond the intellectual capacity of the British.  Too saintly for our times, I guess.

Roosevelt was a leader.  He was the only President of America to be elected three times consecutively.  He knew how to take America out of the Great Depression.  Not cunning enough for our times, I guess.

Gandhi was cunning.  Roosevelt was cunning.  For their own times.  We need a leader who is cunning enough for our times.

A leader is a person who is intelligent enough to understand his times and his people. 


Post Script from one who loves literature:

Vladmir:          What do we do now?

Estragon:         Wait.

Vladmir:          Yes, but while waiting.

Estragon:         What about hanging ourselves?

Vladmir:          Hmm.  It’d give us an erection.

Estragon:         An erection!

Vladmir:          With all that follows.

[Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot]


About matheikal

My more regular blog can be accessed at www.matheikal.blogspot.com
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6 Responses to Who is a Leader?

  1. Jose D.Maliekal says:


    Very inspiring piece.


  2. Sir,that was indeed a great post. People like Arindham Choudary promote Aggression & call them as leaders. Mahatma was highly composed and never used such aggressive language even against Britishers.

  3. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    Ask Arindham why with all his management might (or, was it mite) behind him, his first film-making venture Rok Sake To Rok Lo, truly bombed! He may answer he was leading filmdom to kingdom come :)))

    But, was Hitler a leader? On leadesrhip success I will rank him higher than MKG! Being a scientist does not automatically disqualify one from being a leader. Not too long ago, I read a small piece highlighting how women in the field of science and arts have been effective leaders in the US Senate. Only in the particular sense of political leadership, perhaps you could be right about scientists. Even there, I am not sure. Was M G Ramachandran a leader? I may say yes. Was Rabindranath Tagore a leader? I am not sure.

    For whatever it is worth, the above is my two cents!

    Raghuram Ekambaram

  4. matheikal says:

    Raghuram, your two cents are worth millions to me. I don’t flatter in spite of the art being practised at its lowest levels around me!

    I have no answers to your questions. I like your questions. I would ask the same questions to people at large. My latest post [The Ghost of Kurtz] is a set of such questions based on literature. [Do read it even if you don’t like literature.]

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