GRE Issue Essay 232
“The most essential quality of an effective leader is the ability to remain consistently committed to particular principles and objectives. Any leader who is quickly and easily influenced by shifts in popular opinion will accomplish little.”
The most important characteristic for a leader is that he should be consistent in his thinking. That thinking can be in any field be it decision making, policy making or even his principles and objectives. If a leader is not consistent in his own thinking then how can he ever think about other’s well being? It is very important for a leader to be sure and consistent in whatever he does because if he quickly gets influenced by others’ decisions then he can never make a stand for himself. Leaders are looked upon as a source of inspiration and if they are not principled then they would not be able to run the social system for us. Therefore, it is essential for an effective leader to remain consistently committed to particular principles and objectives as the leader who is quickly influenced by shifts in popular opinion will not accomplish anything.
We have the example of great Gandhi who had a clear vision in his mind from the very beginning. He wanted to make India free from the clutches of British rule. His principles of non-violence were deep rooted in his thoughts. Everyone discouraged him thinking how he could ever get his country free from East India Company but his belief was not shattered and he got India free from British. The leaders with clear vision can not only achieve their aim but also inspire others to follow their path. Gandhi is an ideal for many people and Indian history is incomplete without his description. Similarly, German Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler is another example. He also had his set objectives and principles and he has made a niche for himself in history.
Although it is very important for a leader to be firm with his principles and objectives but that certainly does not mean that he becomes fanatic. If a situation so demands then he should be ready to stake his principles. That does not mean that he should leave them forever. Man makes principles and principles do not make a man therefore, it is very important that principles should be flexible. Sometimes experiences or suggestions of others should also be given importance because every principle is not applicable everywhere. At certain times even leaders can make a wrong decision and to avoid such circumstances they should allow people to put across their views. Having flexibility in ones principles does not mean changing or abandoning the principles. Too much dependence on principles can also make a leader accomplish little because rigidity also makes a person less progressive. It is very important that the leader’s objectives and principles are integrated in the correct direction.
Therefore, it is important for a leader to be clear in his vision about his principles and objectives as then only will he be able to do justice to his work. At the same time a leader should not be forgetting the importance of suggestions from others.