Can a leader be great without ideas? Not exactly that they are dumb otherwise they would not be great leaders. They have ideas but their ideas may not work at all. They could be great being just a leader, to be able to move the masses with him through their oratory skills and leadership. Mao Tse Tung was a great leader in unifying China. His developmental and economic ideas or non ideas were simply disastrous. China was lucky that there were so many other able leaders to do the right things and chart the right course for the country. If China was to follow Mao’s economic development ideas, China would still be a poor third world country.
So was Winton Churchill. He was a leader at the right time to provide the motivation to a Britain at war. The British saw a hope through him. He rallied the people to fight the Germans. He appeared bigger than life. Once the war was over, he faded away like a pedestrian. There was no idea for the rebuilding of Britain coming from him in a way. He was there for a moment, for a purpose.
Many big personalities, including dictators, have lived through history but were bankrupt of ideas to bring a better life for country and people and eventually led to their own downfall, a breakdown of the country and law and order. The only good ideas they had were self preservation, preservation of power and wealth for their families.
The citizens, especially in a democracy, must be able to decipher the ideas of their leaders. Some leaders were fortunate to have good lieutenants to provide them the ideas to carry through. And their apparent emptiness in good ideas could have gone unnoticed or concealed for years without the people knowing. As long as the good lieutenants are around to run the show and the leaders continue to talk, motivate and lead, things can look really good, because the ideas were really good.
The lack of good lieutenants will surface eventually like seeing the rock when the tide subsided. But this takes time and sometimes it seems to be forever. The people can put in some effort to revise their history and look at the ideas that really originated from the leaders and not from their lieutenants and compare their results. Without doing a little homework, many of the good works and ideas of the lieutenants could be mistakenly seen as the ideas of the leaders that really have no good ideas. And it can be worst, some only had bad ideas, ideas that have been proven wrong time and time again.
The people must not be daft but be critical and discriminating of the ideas from their leaders. Do not be misled or misguided by leaders with no ideas or no good ideas, or only bad ideas. Only time will tell the truth.