Knowing bad leadership is just as important as identifying virtues in a leader.
The choice is about the value system – one is a set of good values and another a set of negative.
Good leadership is essentially leaders who choose the good value system to enable them to practise good governance that contribute to benefit the people and nation.
While a bad leader is one who chooses to practice bad governance that benefits himself and his henchmen and is detrimental to the people and nation.
Both these leadership have their own strength and work in opposite ways.
Knowing the bad leadership is equally important too because the consequences of bad deeds may wipe out all the good that have been built by past leaders and people.
The good that has been built and stood for many years could be usurped or destroyed within days by a power abuser.
What makes a good leader?
i) Qualities of the mental faculties
A leader is one who rises above others in terms of certain mental abilities in respect to his or her intelligence as in smartness or brilliance.
The leader is knowledgeable about economics, politics, world affairs and is a thinker expounding brilliant ideas.
But these intellectual abilities alone cannot make a good leader.
The factor that makes the biggest difference is the value system a leader chooses and believes in.
A leader that chooses the good values will become a good leader while a leader who chooses the negative values wil become a bad one.
ii ) Qualities of the heart
We have seen that intellect qualities alone cannot guarantee the quality of a leader.
Another factor is the nature of the heart.
We may classify the two main groupings of the good and negative qualities of the heart as follows.
Good qualities of the heart encompasses national vision, adherence to principles, open-mindedness and lots of common sense, selfless service, honest and trustworthy, fair and just, straight-forward, continuous learner, humble, thankful and practices equality and moderation.
Bad qualities offer the opposite of each of the above characteristics.
iii) Refined qualities
The right choice of the qualities of the mind and the heart will result in the development of refined qualities of a leader namely wisdom, intellectualism, good judgement, thinker, analytical, dedication and the likes.
These values will enable him to achieve the status of statesmanship.
In the case of a Muslim leader , he would have achieved the status of a righteous leader.
Of course there are many more values and virtues that are not discussed here.
On the other hand leaders imbibing bad traits of the mind and heart will lead to the manifestation of absolute greed, power abuse, corruption, oppression, plundering and looting.
These leaders will be habitual or great liars, unrepentant until his last breath.
Allow me to explain at this juncture little about human greed.
The unstoppable form of human greed comes from the hearts and minds that are full of lustful desires for power and money.
Greed posses voluptuous eyes to see the best, itchy hands to get, hold and grab whatever it desires and wants.
It has a voracious stomach that accepts anything halal or haram and speaks with a forked-tongue – it says one thing to a person and a different thing to another.
For the last 30 years, the Sarawak people are living under the unstoppable greed of one man – Taib Mahmud.
Awang Abdillah is a political observer and a veteran journalist in Sarawak. He is an FMT columnist.