Does the way you value leadership depend upon the time in which the leader exists? A while ago, there was a great debate in Africa on leadership. The debaters found it difficult to come to an agreement on what the distinction between a leader and a manager is? They, however, settled on a simple but clear difference between the two. It was unanimously agreed that a leader, is one who provides the vision and dream for the persons or group he/she is leading. A manager, on the other hand, sees the realization of this dream and vision by implementing the policies in place. This leads to the question put across, does the way you value leadership depend upon the time in which the leader exists? From the description and distinction put forward, one can argue that ?
Yes?, the way one values leadership depends upon the time in which the leader exists. From the distinction above, it is the responsibility of a leader to provide his/her followers with a vision. The vision and dreams one has totally depend in the situation one is exposed to. Nelson Mandela, the founding father of South Africa, had a vision that South Africa would one day be independent of the Dutch and the racial segregation system would no longer exist in the country, Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, not only for the black community but for all Americans in general, that one day the black and white communities in America would coexist without racism. The examples above are good cases in point of leaders.
There is something common between the two persons above, the situation in which they were in enabled them to provide the dream for the persons they were leading. Were it not for the circumstances that this people were in, the probably would not have provided these visions and dreams for their people to realize. In the event that everything is going on as required, one might be tempted to argue that the leadership of a person is moribund and ineffective. What one needs to understand, however, is that maintaining a perfect status or situation requires good leadership. Absence of a good leader in a perfect environment may result to a collapse of the existing system (Steadman; 2001). The period during which the group is under the leadership of a certain leader greatly determines his performance. If the times are difficult and the situation requires a lot of thought and good leadership, an area is likely to provide some good forms of leadership. How must the lens of evaluation change in respect to the world in which the leader existed? It is imperative that the society changes the way in which we judge our leaders. The world in existence then, greatly determines what kind of leaders will be produced. In a society where the leaders are corrupt and practice all other forms of social ills, the upcoming generation is highly likely to take up some of these traits. When raising a generation, nature and nurture comes a lot into play.
The prevalent environment in which the generation is being raised will determine the kind of leadership produced by this generation (Xavier; 2005). It is true that in a society where many things are amiss, it is the leadership that is to be blamed. One thing that the society needs to remember is that it is them who make and appoint a leader. If the society raises a generation of thieves, they cannot have a judge as the final product. The point here is that leadership is greatly dependant on the kind of environment one is raised in. If the bench mark is low, then the leadership will be of low quality. The reverse will apply if the benchmark is high. Therefore, in as far as the evaluation of leadership goes, the society needs to look at itself in questioning the leadership.