Organizations are destroyed by leaders who do not base their decisions and reasoning on principles. To build a lasting organization or nation, you must base your reasoning, actions and decisions on principles. A principle is a fundamental rule, which becomes the basis of an action. A principle is the fundamental truth, which is the basis of our reasoning. A principle is a general law, which is the foundation for a decision. You will realize that principles outlive favouritism, partisanship and political expediency. Beware of breaking principles because if you break principles, the principles will break you!
1. A leader who is governed by political expediency rather than principles will not last.
“It is not politically expedient!” is what many political leaders say. If a particular step will be in the best interest of the nation but the leader refrains from it because it does not look politically correct, his organisation is not likely to last. Such leaders are likely to take bad decisions that destroy entire nations. When decisions in a country are taken to gain political favour rather than to get the right thing done, the country is often doomed. Dear leader, be guided by principles and you’re likely to last!
2. A leader who leads mainly by giving favours to relatives will not last. When a leader decides to place members of his family in certain positions they do not qualify for, he has set aside principles and is governing his organization by emotions. The Bible teaches that partiality and hypocrisy are not wisdom. But the wisdom that is from above is… without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
3. A leader who is governed by greed will not last.
This is the story of some nations. It is the story of greedy leaders who have drunk the blood of the nations they have governed. Instead of principled leadership, we have had greedy vampires and vultures that sucked up every drop of blood. Despotic leaders have left their countries desolate while they have amassed millions of dollars that they can never spend in their lifetime. May you never be one of such leaders!
4. A selfish leader will not last.
Democracy is a political system or government based on giving power to the people through elections. The very nature of this system has the potential to corrupt leaders. Selfishness drives them to want to remain in power indefinitely. So-called democratic leaders try to please the masses with sweet words to lure them to vote to keep them in power. This is why many democratically elected leaders are liars and hypocrites. Many promises are never fulfilled.
5. A leader who is guided by favouritism will not last.
When a leader favours one or two people he likes because they are friends or schoolmates, he rules his organization by favouritism rather than by principle. People must be promoted on merit and not on the basis of favouritism. When everything depends on whom you know and whose friend you are, the organization deteriorates. Those who could make great contributions or innovations to the organisation hold back because they are not appropriately rewarded. Others who may not contribute much ride on favouritism. This is a formula for the destruction of the organisation.
6. A leader who rules by ethnicity will not last.
A leader whose mind works along ethnic lines rather than in accordance with principles is destroying his organization. Those who are not of his ethnic origin will gradually hate him. This has been the basis of many of the civil wars in Africa and Europe. Many leaders reason along ethnic lines rather than along the lines of principle. Many countries have degenerated into war zones because of this kind of leadership. The Second World War developed as Hitler tried to eliminate Jews and other groups he considered undesirable.
The Balkans conflict grew as Croats and Serbs tried to get rid of each other. The story of the Tutsis and Hutus of Rwanda is another sombre reminder of how leadership based on ethnicity can destroy an entire region. Let us not be perpetuators of such. May such history never be repeated because of your leadership!
Dear leader, let these guide you to build your organisation: Everybody must have an equal opportunity to make the best of his life in your organization. Everyone must be promoted and rewarded based on merit rather than on anything else. The achievement of results, hard work, loyalty, productivity and a good attitude must always be rewarded. May these principles help you to be a great leader! May they guide you to build a good and lasting organisation!
By Dag Heward-Mills