5/20/2008

Crisis in Leadership?

'Leaders need to have an intrinsic sense of right and wrong. These qualities don’t seem to be apparent in our society. This is worrying. The difference between what is expected of a political leader and a senior civil servant is that the latter helps to formulate policies, while the former assesses the soundness of the proposed policies, their long-term implications, and then goes out to convince people to believe in them. While we have good people with credibility and integrity in cabinet, not enough of them appear to have the acumen to explain them clearly and simply, and persuade the ground. This is a key quality of leadership, which in turn is a tacit balance of IQ, and EQ – an intrinsic capacity to listen.' Viswa Sadasivan I have extracted the above comments of Viswa's recent speech on the crisis of leadership in Singapore. Nothing new, but surprising and unbelievable to know that this is the perception of Singaporeans from all walks of life. I also share the same conclusion. Why surprising? How can this be when we are paying so much for the best, and the best, so well paid, give people this kind of negative impression? What is wrong? Paying not enough or the best is simply not good enough? With the money we are paying, and the honing of interviewing and selection skills, and scrapping the bottom of every barrel, we should be having very outstanding leaders whom the people can easily accept and associate with, and say, yes, these are the best leaders we are paying for. What we have are doubts and a feeling of unease, that they are not what they are expected to be. How many of you share this impression? Or is this just isolated cases of a small group of people having such views? The quality of leadership is not what they think they are, but unfortunately, what the people think they are.

5 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Trying to "change people" is as impossible as it is presumptuous and obnoxious.

Every political leader, like every human being has a right to be however he wants -- immoral, amoral, a downright nasty pig... whatever. Unless you are bringing up a particular child, you have no right to attempt to change anyone. You might not like who they are, that's tough -- deal with it!

There is no "leadership crisis" in S'pore ... or anywhere else for that matter. And it is irrelevant to add psycho-babble pop-psychology mumbo-jumbo like "EQ". what a leader's EQ is, or should be is nobody's business -- certainly not some smart-arse wannabe who thinks he's shit hot just because he owns a word-processor.

When it comes to political leaders, and those who are elected to public office, the central question is WHO voted them in?.

And as Lee Kuan Yew's advised: "If you don't want them, vote them OUT".

I don't vote because I don't believe in political processes. I also do not need to be "led" -- free people require no leader -- we can think for ourselves and make our own decisions. Therefore I don't really care WHO is in charge -- Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong Ill... doesn't make an iota of difference to me.

The people get the "leaders" they deserve.

Anonymous said...

How do you expect the political leaders to explain to the ground when the PM himself admit that not all the MPs understand their policies. So, in a sense we have talented blinds leading less talented blinds. Interesting!

Anonymous said...

If you have voted them in and then starts to kpkb, then something is seriously wrong with you. If you have no chance to vote, then do something to get that chance to vote. If you have not voted for them then starts to pass the words around and convince your close friends, relatives and colleagues and old boys net to vote for opposition, to increase the count for opposition parties so as to deprive the incumbents of the two-thirds majority.

Otherwise, shut up and enjoy your retirement or migrate to a country of your liking. This tiny island has no more future for those who are kiasu and kiasi all the time.

redbean said...

pap has done very well in putting sun tzu's military strategies into practice. when no reasonable alternative candidates are available, the people have no choice in their voting. those who stood up for election are either not suitable and made to look unsuitable. while many wards there were no opposition at all.

the voters are left with the devil and the deep blue sea. it will take time for a good oppositin party with good candidates to stand up and fight the election. only then you can blame the voters for voting the undesirable candidates.

running away is not a solution to many. and many are just playing the waiting game and see who last longer.

Matilah_Singapura said...

It goes way beyond that. Lee Kuan Yew has openly admitted:

"We've engineered the political process so that people have really got to be stupid not to vote for the government".

There is no deception or cunning here ala Sun Tzu's Art of War. This is direct action and an admission.

Lee has never made his opinion a secret: he knows what and who is best for S'pore, and he'll hand-pick the individuals to do so.

People have a chance to do something at the ballot. But they never fully deliver... somehow or other the PAP always "win".

Oh BTW, lest we forget, the ballot slips are numbered.