charisma in leadership

leadership comes in many forms, but the strongest and most influential of leadership is perhaps the personality of the leader and how this is projected and perceived by the people. a powerful and charismatic personality is undeniably a tremendous asset to have. we have seen many such personalities in the past. they carried themselves around as undisputed leaders, man of man. they do not have to shout or keep telling people i am the man. they are natural leaders. they have developed a certain aura around them. unwritten, unmentioned, but felt. lky, keng swee, chin chye, raja, pang boon, sui sen, chok tong, teng cheong, tony are among the names that will just pop up when people asked about the leaders of singapore. and in an election, throwing their names will be as good as winning the election. such are the qualities of leadership that cannot be explained, and cannot be taught. the academics may be having courses in grooming leaders, telling people what are the qualities and characteristics of good leaders. they can go as far as identifying them. but to transfer these qualities into another person who just don't have it will only fail. we have many new leaders among the ministers. how many have such qualities? many are outright no. as simple as that. remove the title and they will be lost, unrecognised by anyone in the street. will people stand up and listen to them when they talked without wearing the title? that will be the real test of a leader. that is the quality of leadership. the impression is that what we are having are administrators or leadership by virtue of position or title. the leadership comes with the job or title. remove the job or title, nothing is left. a few have the potential, but too new and yet to be truly felt. somehow, for these latter batches, this aura of power and leadership takes a bit longer to form. you can see them in say hsien loong, tharman, boon wan, chee hian, who else? scratching my head to feel that kind of dominance of personality as the leaders of the people... given a bit more time, maybe a few will grow and develop their influence while in their jobs. but as of now, throw some of them to lead a grc and it does not mean anything. they do not carry the weight to give the impression that with their presence, the grc is as good as won.


Matilah_Singapura said...

Hitler had charisma, so did Stalin, Lenin, Mao.

Please, gimme a "boring" leader anytime.

Not everyone wants to be "led". Some of us have our own minds, and we can tell the difference between our asses and a hole in the ground :-)

redbean said...


i will be worried if you can't tell the dif between an ass and a hole in the ground. is it that difficult?

my discussion is related to the grcs and how grcs can be won quite easily by pap in the past. today, if a minister leading a grc does not have the weight to carry it, hey, one grc can go to the opposition. and that means 4 to 6 candidates. this is no joking matter.

what happens if the minister is more a liability instead?

Speedwing said...

A GRC going to the opposition? The chances of that happening is as good as striking the Euro Jackpot of 125 million GBP!!!

Each GRC will be manned by one prominent PAP candidate. The rest of the "team" could totally be as dead as posts, and the PAP would still win. That is the purpose of the GRC system, or am I wrong?

redbean said...

what works yesterday could work against you today. grc was the solution to win more candidates to parliament. today grcs may be the achilles heel, bring more opposition candidates into parliament.

the strength of grcs depends heavily on the ministers in the team. the rest not important.

what if the situation has changed? what if the weakest link in the grcs is the minister? that is the scenario that i am posturing. is it valid?

Matilah_Singapura said...


Again you misunderstand. I can tell. You can too - I hope :)) Maybe a couple of the fuckahs here too are "awake".

But the majority of people - the one's who comprise DEMOCRACY as a general rule cannot tell their ass from a hole in the ground. To them it is not "difficult", it is what they want to BELIEVE.

EVERY CHARISMATIC LEADER has the ability to mesmerise people and lead them to his belief system. He is popular with the people. He is "the people's man". They talk about him. They sing songs, chant slogans. (ever seen these robots in action? just turn on the TV!!)

This has got FUCK ALL to do with REASON. The process of mass-hynosis is purely EMOTIONAL.

This emotion is powerful man. When people are swept by the powerful emotions of "unity", how the fuck do you expect them to differentiate between Hitler and Ghandi, or between Jesus and Mao??

It is a "hit and miss" affair man!

... and that folks, is the begining of a global entertainment extarvaganza!

redbean said...

right on matilah.

leadership by simply relying on charisma can be dangerous. history have thrown out many of them. what we need is charisma and good govt.

i must say that we have had good govt for quite some time. but lately things are getting more questionable. assuming that there is good govt, you still need charismatic leaders to bring in the votes. otherwise, our politicians will be no different from civil servants. faceless and emotionless.

in our context, the voters have taken many things for granted. and i think they will be looking at each candidate on its own merit now. not just a brand.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The solution is simple: just ensure that the Lee family keeps pumping out them babies.

Then you can have a real multi-generation Lee Dynasty happening in Singapore!

Long Live The Divine Emperor Lee

redbean said...

the general order of things is that nothing lasts.

no matter how detail man plans, it will not work when there is a change of wind.