Democracy needs leaders. It is the lack of good leaders and abundance of bad leaders that creates crisis in democracy. What is leadership?

Carlyle conceived of a great leader as a “hero” who shapes history. A great leader transform the lives of people for better. Like FD Roosevelt did. His success came from integrity, dedication and pragmatic approach–his vision and actions. Much of a leader’s performance and achievement cannot be reviewed until ‘after’ the fact. Needless to say, such leaders are uncommon: Caesar, Lincoln, and FD Roosevelt. Perhaps, Barrack Obama may go down as one such leader.

There are ‘leaders’ in every field—religion, sports, corporations, environment, technology and so on. Here, the focus is on leadership we expect from the President or Prime Minister. The candidates for these jobs need certain qualities to be leaders: high intelligence (to grasp complex issues, analyze, find solutions and make decisions), some experience (in governing), character (integrity), temperament (to keep calm under stress) and dedication (putting interest of the country (or organization) before their own). Yet, it is surprising that few aspirants bring these qualities to the table. A number of them are motivated only by ambition, some even come to pursue a secret agenda. And some are charlatans, like Donald Trump.

At the time of voting, a lack of understanding of what leadership means creates great confusion in the voters. Voters constantly fall for demagogues, propaganda, deception, and false promises. Judge the candidates yourself. Use the following as aid.

The Four Question Test :

  1. Does the candidate have the high level of intelligence to comprehend, analyze, look at options, and then make decisions?
  2. Does the candidate have some experience (to govern)?
  3. Does the candidate have the personality and temperament—positive, pleasant, thoughtful, patient–and the ability to communicate and persuade?
  4. Does he have the character that leaders need? Integrity, honesty, determination.                                                     He should have all of the above at a minimum.