Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Where have all the leaders gone?


Last night I attended a lecture by
. If I tell you he was in the
(a plan of mine until I got married!), ran the Marathon des Sables and trekked to the South Pole (as well as becoming a millionaire businessman) you will appreciate why I was eager to listen to him. His lecture addressed the issues of "where have all the leaders gone?" He was pretty despairing of modern society, and reflected on the heroes he grew up with -books on Nelson, Churchill, Scott- with the heroes of today -Pete Docherty, Amy Winehouse, Big Brother et al. I was interested in the characteristics he saw as being essential in leaders:
  • Intellectual Honesty. It is critical that you remain true to yourself.
  • Charisma, an inspirational spark.
  • Self-sacrifice: the willingness to give of yourself.
  • Tolerance
  • Fairness
  • Sense of Humour
  • Optimism
  • Courage, such as that shown by Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • A "Don't give a damn" edge. He quoted this slogan from the side of a plane in the Battle of Britain where the death rate was as high as 10%:
    "When my flying days are over, And from this world I pass, I hope they bury me upside down, So the world can kiss my ass."



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