Elmud
 
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 02:16 pm
What makes a good leader? Surely one of the qualities of a good leader would be truthfulness. In all things. Thing is, in the political world, if a person were to be completely truthful, would he/she ever get elected? People like to hear what they want to hear. Truthfulness seldom provides that. Most politicians will lean toward popular opinion, or the opinion of their party, with truth taking a back seat to political wisdom. Cynical I know, but probably fairly accurate. What makes a good leader, and should truthfulness be upheld, regardless of the cost?
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salima
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 06:02 pm
@Elmud,
i see integrity as being different from truthfulness. you can tell the truth the wrong way at the wrong time and cause a big disaster.

but a good leader, like a 'good' person, would have to have integrity-in other words, he would live up to what he believes in, and what he said would clearly state what he believed in, so that we would know that when we voted for him.

unfortunately, one good leader is not enough to turn things around...we also need good followers.
0 Replies
 
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 03:07 am
@Elmud,
Elmud;94806 wrote:
Most politicians will lean toward popular opinion, or the opinion of their party, with truth taking a back seat to political wisdom.


I think your description of a leader's position is full and authentic enough to close the discussion.

And each of us are facing the dilemma: following a leader or following the truth.

Discussing leadership is the best way to not leave any time available for dealing with our own moral issues.
Caezius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 07:05 pm
@Shlomo,
Elmud;94806 wrote:
What makes a good leader? Surely one of the qualities of a good leader would be truthfulness. In all things. Thing is, in the political world, if a person were to be completely truthful, would he/she ever get elected? People like to hear what they want to hear. Truthfulness seldom provides that. Most politicians will lean toward popular opinion, or the opinion of their party, with truth taking a back seat to political wisdom. Cynical I know, but probably fairly accurate. What makes a good leader, and should truthfulness be upheld, regardless of the cost?


I think it's interesting that you brought up cynicism in your post because I feel that able and apt politicians should themselves be cynics, or possess some degree of cynicism. I say cynicism as being synonymous with mild pessimistic misanthropy by the way and I feel that politicians should be cynics in this since because a disliking of a state's institutions and practices because of their inefficiency, or otherwise poor management is normal human behavior; the job of the politician is to fix these problems and maladies, therefore shouldn't it be natural for cynics to politicians and vice versa?

You say that truthfulness/honesty is an important, yet unlikely trait for politicians. I basically agree with your post, but I also feel that cynicism is an important and underrated virtue for politicians that should be examined.

Shlomo;94873 wrote:
I think your description of a leader's position is full and authentic enough to close the discussion.

And each of us are facing the dilemma: following a leader or following the truth.

Discussing leadership is the best way to not leave any time available for dealing with our own moral issues.


What truth do you speak of? What is "the truth?" When using the term truth so broadly doesn't it become something mostly relative and hardly factual?
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 10:42 pm
@Caezius,
Caezius;94957 wrote:
Replying to Elmud:
You say that truthfulness/honesty is an important, yet unlikely trait for politicians. I basically agree with your post, but I also feel that cynicism is an important and underrated virtue for politicians that should be examined.
...
Replying to Shlomo:
What truth do you speak of? What is "the truth?" When using the term truth so broadly doesn't it become something mostly relative and hardly factual?


Your post is politically correct, Caezius. When speaking of somebody else, the truth is such a clear and unambiguous concept. Conversely, when speaking of ourselves, truth becomes relative and hard to define.

If so, isn't it cynical to judge politicians for cynicism?

Please do not think I argue with you, I totally agree with you. I think a good leader in a cynical society should be a cynic. And I also agree that the question "what is truth?" precedes in the logical order the subject of this post.
0 Replies
 
Leonard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 10:43 pm
@Elmud,
Every good leader is truthful, but an effective leader must be deceiving and evasive. If you have a specific set of values, on the other hand, very few people will believe you.

I suppose you need a good record. Accomplishments make a good leader as well. Nobody would vote for a poor man with no political experience as a senator/representative.

Leaders who are human are always loved. If a leader shows family values and has a life outside of politics, you can trust that he/she is not a lifeless drudge.
Caezius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Oct, 2009 05:50 pm
@Leonard,
Shlomo;94991 wrote:
Your post is politically correct, Caezius. When speaking of somebody else, the truth is such a clear and unambiguous concept. Conversely, when speaking of ourselves, truth becomes relative and hard to define.


I don't fully agree with your quote above Shlomo. I agree that when speaking of ourselves, the truth can become a flimsy thing; but I also think that truth remains a relative issue when speaking of others, if not more so.

I know that I like key lime pie, this is the truth, I like key lime pie. But what I do not know, is whether you like key lime pie, or any type of pie for that matter. I can guess or assume, but I have no infallible evidence pointing to this claim - unless I ask you, therefore I feel that when speaking of others the truth remains elusive.

Shlomo;94991 wrote:
If so, isn't it cynical to judge politicians for cynicism?

Please do not think I argue with you, I totally agree with you. I think a good leader in a cynical society should be a cynic. And I also agree that the question "what is truth?" precedes in the logical order the subject of this post.


Is it cynical to judge a politician for cynicism? Is it brave to judge one for bravery? Is it sneaky to judge one for stealthiness? Is it ignorant to judge one for ignorance?

No. I think it's particularly telling of the person's mind frame who does constantly judge others based on their stealthiness, or one who judges others concerning their bravery. I thinks it's telling because it can reveal how a person thinks and views others in society, but of course this is not a universal law, as a person's mind is quite unique and different.
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 03:37 pm
@Caezius,
Mr. Johns is the Minister of Pies in the Lantastic Islands, the greatest democracy of his time.

On his table rests the request to start massive production of marsh cell pies.
The popular support for the project is enormous and many powerful leaders made it clear to Mr. Johns that his approval of the project will determine their supporting him in the upcoming Presidential elections.

The research department has presented to Mr. Johns a confidential report establishing an initial evidence that eating such pies would likely result in a drastic decrease of intelligence in the next generation. However, finalizing the research is also subject to Mr. John's approval.

By that time the most influential philosophical school maintains that absolute truth is an obsolete concept. The news pay tribute to the country's greatest philosopher who has just received the most prestigious international Sambubakka prize in humanities for developing the Theory of Moral Relativity, postulating that truth is derivative from personal preferences. A euphoric wave of national pride sweeps the country from East to West.

Mr. Johns decides that decrease in intelligence might be considered positive change in the society, especially in the eyes of the next generation, and approves the project.

Please apply your system to qualifying Mr. John's leadership virtue.
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 06:51 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud;94806 wrote:
What makes a good leader? Surely one of the qualities of a good leader would be truthfulness. In all things. Thing is, in the political world, if a person were to be completely truthful, would he/she ever get elected? People like to hear what they want to hear. Truthfulness seldom provides that. Most politicians will lean toward popular opinion, or the opinion of their party, with truth taking a back seat to political wisdom. Cynical I know, but probably fairly accurate. What makes a good leader, and should truthfulness be upheld, regardless of the cost?


You have expressed perfectly the inherent problem of democracy. Therefore, let us have no more democracy. Let's have republicanism. Even assuming there is no one consciously trying to manipulate public opinion, bread-and-circus style imperial mob-rule is always the result of democracy. If the people have the power to direct every aspect of life in the nation, they invariably elect their own opressors. The only hope of having democratic government (not democracy) is to limit the power of that government. Then the people can control public affairs to the extent that anyone controls public affairs, but 'public affairs' does not include every aspect of life.
0 Replies
 
Caezius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 01:25 am
@Shlomo,
Shlomo;95260 wrote:
Mr. Johns is the Minister of Pies in the Lantastic Islands, the greatest democracy of his time.

On his table rests the request to start massive production of marsh cell pies.
The popular support for the project is enormous and many powerful leaders made it clear to Mr. Johns that his approval of the project will determine their supporting him in the upcoming Presidential elections.

The research department has presented to Mr. Johns a confidential report establishing an initial evidence that eating such pies would likely result in a drastic decrease of intelligence in the next generation. However, finalizing the research is also subject to Mr. John's approval.

By that time the most influential philosophical school maintains that absolute truth is an obsolete concept. The news pay tribute to the country's greatest philosopher who has just received the most prestigious international Sambubakka prize in humanities for developing the Theory of Moral Relativity, postulating that truth is derivative from personal preferences. A euphoric wave of national pride sweeps the country from East to West.

Mr. Johns decides that decrease in intelligence might be considered positive change in the society, especially in the eyes of the next generation, and approves the project.

Please apply your system to qualifying Mr. John's leadership virtue.


Well running with your theme, Mr. Johns would be an excellent leader. Truth is a totally obsolete concept in their land, I would imagine that teachers in the Lantastic Islands would provide a lesson plan, then after the lesson plan tell the class that everything she told them was false. It would be up to the students to decide for themselves what they want to believe. The research department presents Mr. Johns with evidence stating that eating marsh cell pies will lead to a decrease in intelligence. It's up to Mr. Johns to decide whether or not he believes his research department (truth is obsolete after all). Apparently Mr. Johns decides to believe his research team as not only does he think that marsh cell pies will lead to a decreased intelligence, but approves the project because he believes that such an occurrence would be a positive one.

If I were to apply my system of qualification to the scenario you envisioned, I would say that Mr. Johns is a fairly descent leader. He took what his research department presented him as the truth, when he very well could have derided their evidence. He then goes on to use the evidence that his research team presented him to serve two interests: His own, and what he perceives to be the public's. He'll receive major kudos and endorsements from big shots when he approves the project - practically preserving if not advancing his career. He's also serving the public's interest because he believes he is, and what he believes he believes is the truth, therefore it is. So I retract my earlier statement and would call Mr. Johns a superb leader given the scenario and circumstances. But absolute truth isn't an obsolete concept, elusive and sometimes difficult discern sure, but not quite obsolete. In a more familiar scenario to me I would grade Mr. Johns a poor leader and deem him unfit for his position.
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 04:05 pm
@Elmud,
Thank you Caezius. You have proved that political truth is relative. Therefore, a politician is always "truthful". And the electorate always gets what it deserves. Absolute truth exists but it is not applicable to politics.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 06:25 am
@Elmud,
Elmud;94806 wrote:
What makes a good leader? Surely one of the qualities of a good leader would be truthfulness. In all things. Thing is, in the political world, if a person were to be completely truthful, would he/she ever get elected? People like to hear what they want to hear. Truthfulness seldom provides that. Most politicians will lean toward popular opinion, or the opinion of their party, with truth taking a back seat to political wisdom. Cynical I know, but probably fairly accurate. What makes a good leader, and should truthfulness be upheld, regardless of the cost?
- a leader would be a naive idiot if he was 100% truthful and his political career would be very short.

- not be too proud
- know how to prioritize
- have good knowledge of what's going on
- have good knowledge of how things work
- be a diplomat, know when to strike, when to stand tall and when to give in
- must graps the future
- must keep the system strong
0 Replies
 
PappasNick
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 02:37 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud;94806 wrote:
What makes a good leader? Surely one of the qualities of a good leader would be truthfulness. In all things. Thing is, in the political world, if a person were to be completely truthful, would he/she ever get elected? People like to hear what they want to hear. Truthfulness seldom provides that. Most politicians will lean toward popular opinion, or the opinion of their party, with truth taking a back seat to political wisdom. Cynical I know, but probably fairly accurate. What makes a good leader, and should truthfulness be upheld, regardless of the cost?


Telling the truth sometimes takes courage. Here is a nice definition of courage from a leader I enjoy:

"Courage - a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it." - William Tecumseh Sherman
0 Replies
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 02:56 pm
@Shlomo,
:devilish:
Shlomo;95260 wrote:
Mr. Johns is the Minister of Pies in the Lantastic Islands, the greatest democracy of his time.

On his table rests the request to start massive production of marsh cell pies.
The popular support for the project is enormous and many powerful leaders made it clear to Mr. Johns that his approval of the project will determine their supporting him in the upcoming Presidential elections.

The research department has presented to Mr. Johns a confidential report establishing an initial evidence that eating such pies would likely result in a drastic decrease of intelligence in the next generation. However, finalizing the research is also subject to Mr. John's approval.

By that time the most influential philosophical school maintains that absolute truth is an obsolete concept. The news pay tribute to the country's greatest philosopher who has just received the most prestigious international Sambubakka prize in humanities for developing the Theory of Moral Relativity, postulating that truth is derivative from personal preferences. A euphoric wave of national pride sweeps the country from East to West.

Mr. Johns decides that decrease in intelligence might be considered positive change in the society, especially in the eyes of the next generation, and approves the project.

Please apply your system to qualifying Mr. John's leadership virtue.


:bigsmile: First of all, I bake my own cakes. But for sake of the argument...
As soon as I got elected with the blood-money I would $crew up the ceremony. Then I would publish the reports and the Library on Capital Hill. I would Use my Office for good.Laughing
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 12:26 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud;94806 wrote:
What makes a good leader? Surely one of the qualities of a good leader would be truthfulness. In all things. Thing is, in the political world, if a person were to be completely truthful, would he/she ever get elected? People like to hear what they want to hear. Truthfulness seldom provides that. Most politicians will lean toward popular opinion, or the opinion of their party, with truth taking a back seat to political wisdom. Cynical I know, but probably fairly accurate. What makes a good leader, and should truthfulness be upheld, regardless of the cost?
Unfortunaly most politics these days are about baby hugging and populistic nonsens, so in short ..modern preception of "good" leaders are riddled with naivity and stupidity.

Imo what is a good leader, is the one:

- who have guts to take unpopular decisions
- one who isn't swayed by greed
- gives in to reason, not to pressure
- not ruled by emotion
- is intelligent enough to make long term decitions
- is intelligent enough to see the conjunction of things and not sees them seperatly
- have patience enough to give full instructions
- is intelligent enough to avoid disasters, where most repair the damage after a disaster. Be it civil unrest, food poisoning, unscreen blood ..etc.
- isn't too proud to give away power to the right person, and thereby avoid making unwise decitions himself
- able to swallow his own pride
- able to punish the unjust, too many look the other way

..etc.

[edit] oops ..what the ..I already answerd to this thread Oo
0 Replies
 
Twilight Siren
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 08:48 pm
@Elmud,
"The best leader follows the will of the people" -Lao Tzu

A good leader, in my opinion, should be a balanced person, and contain many polarities. They should be strong and (when necessary) ruthless, yet compassionate, and merciful; they should be understanding and flexible, but also stubborn and strong-willed; they must be feared enough to command respect and loyalty, but gentle and virtuous enough to deserve that respect. They should think and act with both their brain, their gut, and their heart. They should keep the will and the well-being of the people at the top of their list, but just barely below themselves. They should be charismatic, outgoing and daring, but also introspective, and thoughtful; should not let emotions get in the way, but not let dry logic and reason rule them either. They should contain qualities of both mother and father, and of both parent and child, of student and teacher, etc. etc.

I know it's a lot to ask, and I don't know yet of a leader who has met my high standards. Unfortunately, most people I've met like this have no interest in leadership, or rulership. Only the politicians, and the like seem to vie for those seats of power and (in my eyes) they are most undeserving.
0 Replies
 
the republican
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 07:08 am
@Caezius,
As a lot of you had said, integrity is very important, but i think it would be more preferable if the person, as a leader, was extremely (suicidally) blunt, like James Madison I believe. The leader should be a natural one. I mean a person who has performed leadership position throughout their life and was proficient at it. The leader should know when to delegate and when to do it themself. The leader should understand what are the limits of their power and should have a sense of integrity or honor that prevents them from being corrput or doing such things like "under the table" deals.

If we are talking about the most ideal situations, the person should be afraid of too much power for the government or for themselves because this would ensure the person wouldn't become like a dictator. Strong morals would be preferable

As said above, this is an ideal situation, but to be more realistic the leader should have integrity, proficient at leading, and undestanding of their position is the best criteria for a leader. The reason why the idealistic and the realistic are different is because of the chance of getting a good (both moral and effective) leader i.e. if election or appointment is the method of choosing a leader, the leader could lie.
0 Replies
 
 

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