5 qualities that every effective political leader should have

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For the longest time Kenyans, have voted for leaders based on tribe and not on their actual abilities. Growing up in an urban setting back in the 80’s tribe was not an issue as according to me we were all equal. As a matter of fact I did not even know most of my playmates second names hence had no way of  knowing their tribe. I would like to believe that most Kenyans are not tribal at heart but it is just that politicians usually whip up emotions during election periods for their own benefit. Politicians have since independence played on the siege mentality of their tribesmen to gain and retain power. Once in power these politicians often use their positions to benefit those close to them who are not necessarily of their tribe leaving the rest of the population to suffer regardless of tribe. The simple fact is that being from the Presidents tribe will not guarantee you a plate of ugali at the end of the day.

Kenyans need to wake up to the fact that there are only two tribes in Kenya “The Haves” and the “Have Nots”. The Haves in which many politicians fall into are largely bossom buddies and after spewing stage managed hatred towards each other for public show usually retreat to private members’ clubs funded by you the taxpayer for a round of drinks. Sadly the gullible members of the public are left fighting each other.

The fact that voting based on tribe is not beneficial to the country is by and large evident. The question remains, other than tribe what should I look for in a leader? I happened to have attended a Mavuno church service earlier last month and one Pastor Simon Mbevi was preaching on the qualities of a good leader. Before the atheists have my skin, let me state that that he had words of wisdom and if implemented by the populace as a whole it can rid us of bad leaders. He spoke of 5 C’s of leadership that the citizenry can use to determine a good leader. These 5 C’s are Character, Competence, Conciliatory, Caring and Compelling Vision.

1. Character

This can be defined as the mental and moral qualities that are distinctive to an individual. A person of good character can be said to be one who is honest, courageous and has integrity. One of the most important character traits of a good leader as per our setting is integrity which seems to be lacking in many of our leaders. Integrity can be divided into three;

  • Financial Integrity; Once a leader is elected, they will be in charge of our finances. Can you be able to trust that they will handle the said finances prudently and not engage in corruption?
  • Relational Integrity; is the person who is seeking that elective post a person of their word? Do they fulfill their promises?
  • Moral Integrity; It is said that one can be able to tell a lot by how a person treats their family. One simply cannot expect that a person who shirks their familial responsibility to be an effective leader.

2. Competence

This can be described as the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.  For a leader this can be described as the ability to either run a country, county or constituency. One can be able to determine a leader’s competence based on their past evidence of management skills. This can be deduced from;

  • Skillset and Ability; are they fit for the job?
  • Achievements; what have they done before and how well have they done it?
  • Work ethic and commitment; are they willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that they get the job done.

3. Conciliatory

As a country, which has experienced post-election violence in the past, a good leader should be one who is a peace maker. He or she should be a person who loves and preaches peace and builds bridges across all divides. Such a person should also be tolerant of divergent views and opinions.

4. Caring

A true leader should care about his/her constituents and should portray this with actions and not just mere words. As they say, talk is cheap!!

They should also be invested in moving the entire populace into prosperity and not just a selected few. They should care enough to want to improve the welfare of the poor people in the places where they lead.

A true leader is one who is willing to even lay down their lives for the people whom they lead. A good example is the freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi who lay down his life while fighting for our independence.

5. Compelling Vision

Vision can be described as the ability to think about or plan the future with wisdom. A good leader is one who is able to see and paint a picture of a preferred future for those he or she leads. She should also be able to compel and motivate those that she leads towards the attainment of this vision.

This vision should be one that the leader can be able to own and articulate with passion and not just a manifesto to wow members of the public.

As the elections draw near, use the 5 C’s to rate those who will come to you seeking votes and only vote those who rate highly.

You can find the full sermon below