Previous Page An Issue 33.
People are likely to accept as a leader only someone who has demonstrated an ability to perform the same tasks that he or she expects others to perform. Question
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and I or examples from your own experience, observations or reading. Analysis
People are more likely to accept the leadership of those who have shown they can perform the same tasks they require of others. My reasons for this view involve the notions of respect and trust.
It is difficult for people to fully respect a leader who cannot or will not do what he or she asks of others. President Clinton's difficulty in his role as Commander-in-Chief serves as a fitting and very public example. When Clinton assumed this leadership position, it was well-known that he had evaded military service during the Vietnam conflict. Military leaders and lower-level personnel alike made it clear that they did not respect his leadership as a result. Contrast the Clinton case with that of a business leader such as John Chambers - CEO of Cisco Systems who by way of his training and experience as a computer engineer earned the respect of his employees. ,
It is likewise difficult to trust leaders who do not have experience in the-areas under their leadership. The Clinton example illustrates this point as well. Because President Clinton lacked military experience, people in the armed forces found it difficult to trust that his policies would reflect any understanding of their interests or needs. And when put to the test, he undermined their trust to an even greater extent with his naive and largely bungled attempt to solve the problem of gays in the military. In stark contrast, President Dwight Eisenhower inspired nearly devotional trust as well as respect because of his role as a military hero in World War II.
In conclusion, it will always be difficult for people to accept leaders who lack demonstrated ability in the areas under their leadership. Initially, such leaders will be regarded as outsiders and treated accordingly. Moreover, some may never achieve the insider status that inspires respect and trust from those they hope to lead.