Ramil, a local politician has been known throughout his own hometown as an alcoholic. Although he tried to hide it, the local folks knew about his vices. He ran with the ladies, got his hands dirty with illegal gambling, and messed around with public funds. But one day, quite unexpectedly, he passed away.
His wealthy brother, who was himself a well known bully in town, arranged for the wake and burial. He made a proposition to the attending minister: “I hope you won't be too hard on my brother. If you would refer to my brother as a saint, I'll make a one-million-peso donation to your church.”
The minister said he would have to think about it.
Now this is the dilemma. There lies the threat and there lies the promise of money; and his church needed it.
Finally, the day arrived and at the funeral service, the minister said: “We all know that when Ramil was alive he was a corrupt government official, a chronic gambler, a terrible alcoholic, he was unfaithful to his wife, a lousy father but compared to his brother here, he was almost a saint!"
I doubt it if the minister got his money. This story may not be true, but it does point out that leaders have a great sense of responsibility and that people will always know when they have performed well or not.
I was listening to a speaker named Myles Munroe expound on the Greek origin of the word 'politician.' I was delightfully surprised to know that politician in the Greek means 'chief citizen.'
This says a lot doesn’t it?
'Chief citizen' means he is not around to be served but to serve. He is not there to dip his hands into things that would merely work for his own interest, but for the interest of the whole.
Ever wonder why roads are cemented more and public projects are so visible every time election season is upon us? And then those billboards of smiling politicians also remind us that the projects would not have pushed through had it not been for their intervention? This would not have been so bad if the money didn't come from our taxes that we dutifully paid.
Sad isn’t it? And then the people lose confidence.
General George S. Patton said, “Leadership is inspiring confidence in others.”
This same famous general during the last world war said, “Now we have the finest food, equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by God, I actually pity those poor people we're going up against.”
When leaders serve and stay true to their calling, they inspire their people to perform their best. When leaders are working for their own selfish ambitions, the best they can get out of their people is compliant behavior. They will always be mediocre and they will never give their best.
This is the reason why Jesus discipled a few, yet the few that He trained turned the whole world upside down. They were committed because they were inspired by their Leader.
The symbol for effective leadership is neither a fancy title nor a beautiful office. The symbol of leadership is a towel and a basin.
I hope our leaders would remember this at all times.
Print ed: 09/10