Monday, August 14, 2006

To Be A Leader, Being Intelligent Is No Longer A Necessity?

One certainly does not have to be the most intelligent person to be the leader of a nation. That is the take we receive from current leadership philosophy in Malaysia.

We can ask a long list of questions, however, in the end we are quite sure that this philosophy will be upheld to be true : by ministers and MPs, not necessarily the people or rakyat.

We may only ask one question and the answer would be revealing : given identical qualities between a less intelligent leader and a more intelligent one, whom would the rakyat choose if they had the choice?

Intelligence vs Popularity :

Must we agree with the opinion that being the most intelligent among the Members of Parliament will not help in governing the country?

Can we say that intelligence does not help us in making a more correct decision? Are we also saying that intelligence does not help an individual to be more morally upright, to allow him to evaluate situations better and quicker, to allow him to read a given problem more accurately, to better judge individuals, to allow him to articulate his thoughts more precisely and to better protect his own people when under threat?

Are we really saying that a better criterion for clearer decision making is not one’s intelligence but perhaps one’s popularity as a leader, especially if ¾ of the voters voted him into office or some other wooly criteria?

In essence, this is what is implied − popularity, at the end of the day is a better quality for better decision making. Since we the voters have placed our confidence in a leader to make the tough decisions on our behalf, the only thing we must do is lay back and let it take its course. A leader cannot be wrong because 75% have given their support for this man to make the decisions for them for the next 5 years.

When the vast majority of voters cast their votes, they certainly are not weighing in how intelligent the MPs to be are but how popular they are with their constituents. It is clear that popularity is more vital in decision making process.

Surely our constituents are not unintelligent. When voters vote an MP into office, they have obviously weighed into the equation what qualities are required to make a good leader : popularity.

Popularity is at the heart of any democratic society. A popular leader is the one that gets elected, not an intelligent leader. Therefore, popularity is a greater asset to a leader than his intelligence.

Intelligence too does not help a person to make a quicker decision when a decision is urgently needed. What helps a person make a quicker decision is an impending threat that something sinister is about to happen to the decision maker if the decision making process will take another few months and the people are growing restless.

A less intelligent leader can also make a super quick decision. Of course a super quick decision by a less intelligent leader is identical to a super quick decision by an intelligent leader.

A Less Intelligent Leader Surrounded By Intelligent Advisers.

Is it better to be a less intelligent leader surrounded by top graduates?

We are sure that it is not difficult to select the right kind of advisors, all of the time. It is easy to determine if these advisors will work for the betterment of the nation, not their own purse or personal benefits.

Would an intelligent leader surrounded by less intelligent advisors ultimately feed the country to the dogs?

Is it really better to have intelligent advisors to advise a less intelligent PM because the PM can rest assured that these advisors will give their unadulterated advice? Would these advisors always look after the rakyat’s interests?

Would the best option be in having an intelligent leader equal to that of his advisors?

And ultimately, is it really better to appoint a smart advisor without the necessary experience? Can intelligence ever replace experience? Would a person with experience in any given area give better advice than a person who is intelligent but without any the necessary experience?

You be the judge.

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