What qualities do you look for in leaders?
Maybe they differ depending on the era, culture, or situation.
Maybe they differ depending on whether you are the leader or a follower.
Maybe they differ depending on whether you support or oppose the leader in question.
But maybe there are some qualities that are sought across the board.
Maybe high competence in the field we want the leaders to lead us in.
Maybe reliable judgment in making wise decisions quickly using their competence.
Maybe adequate agility in giving shape to the decisions made.
Maybe good vision to let us imagine what the final form would be like of the decisions made.
Maybe unshakable trust, upholding integrity and bringing us together to persevere in attaining set goals.
And maybe there are some qualities that should not matter.
This past weekend, my people chose a new governor of our capital city. She did not let irrelevant qualities affect her, all the while showing glimpses of universal qualities in her campaign. She was able to shift the concept of the leader for one of the biggest cities in Asia (comparable in demographic and economic size to some sovereign nations) according to changing times, for her supporters and oppositions alike. When all was said and done, she won a landslide victory that even she herself did not expect.
Going forward, she has a lot to prove. The road ahead for her will undoubtedly be a steep uphill every step of the way. Very regrettably, much of the reason for the rough ride will be due to those who stubbornly cling to an outdated concept of the leader for our Capital. But I heard her say something that I totally agree with but hardly ever hear from my people, that makes me optimistic that she will surely reach the hilltop:
“Think not of reasons that make it impossible, but of ways that make it possible. [my translation]”
After all, she is the living proof of her own saying – she thought of creative and charming ways to get herself the Governor’s seat many said she will never sit in, and look where she is now! I look forward to seeing how this Lily (that’s what her name means in my mother tongue) will bloom atop the Capital hill.
Maybe I will add one more quality I would look for in leaders: the determination to make impossible possible.
Congratulations on your successful campaign, and good luck in all your future endeavours as a new leader.