Unpopular Leadership

A significant leader is someone who dares to stand alone to bring about significant change, to challenge  injustice, or to address a need.

Where there exists institutional injustice or oppression a significant person who stands for what is right will always be seen a a rebel and a troublemaker, but undeterred by what they see around them they will stand for what is right, honourable and true. Such a person is a leader.

It is important to recognize that a title of positional leadership does not mean that the person with the title is a leader.  A true leader will say and do what is right rather than what is popular. If a leader always does what is popular they are a follower not a leader regardless of title.

The significant leader is a person who will do what is right and will say what is right regardless of the consequence to themselves. Such a leader will lay down their role to see the vision fulfilled, walking away from any positional leadership to see someone else better suited take over applauding them in the process.

Paul S Allen

About Paul S Allen

Kiwi singer-songwriter based in Dunedin, New Zealand. Musician (Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Mandolin, Keyboard); Photographer; Poet; Thinker. I have food allergies so ask when you invite me for dinner. Lumen accipe et imperti. (receive the light and pass it on) Email me: paulusthebrit@hotmail.com

Posted on 10/03/2010, in Business Development, Church, Faith and Personal Development, General, Leadership and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Paul,

    Statesmanship, nobility and a genuine commitment to doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do is what defines a true leader; and that sometimes necessitates an unpopular decision, a decision that is often times not ‘politically correct’. The circumstances that exist in our nation today, politically, financially, socially and otherwise would cause one to want to ask, “Where have all the true leaders gone?” In many respects, we are like a ship without a rudder. Great observation Paul. Thanks. JA

  2. Thanks Jim, we need to be reminded that life is bigger than the package that is ourselves and that sometimes it is the act of standing up for what is right that will lead to the betterment of society, even if the cost to oneself seems overwhelming. If one can stand then others can, if one can speak a nation can speak. Paul S Allen

  3. Hi – I want to say thank you for an interesting site about a subject I have had an interest in for a while now. I have been lurking and reading the comments avidly so just wanted to express my gratitude for providing me with some very good reading material. I look forward to more, and taking a more active part in the discussions here, whilst picking up some knowledge too!!

  4. Great post Paul. I agree, but I have another question, what about times when the leader “simply thinks they’re right” but they’re actually wrong? In the US we have two political parties and I’m sure leaders on both sides are SURE they’re right. Don’t leaders need to have some type of feedback in place to help them stay in the right?


  5. Good comment Mike, This comes down to the character of the leader, a person (leader or not) who is not teachable or open minded could easily fall into this trap of only thinking they are right. It is good to remember that when there is a call to stand up in these situations that there is strength in humility and open dialogue. Allowing the possibility to admit being wrong.

    People in the past who have stood up for what is right: Galileo Galilei, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, William Wilberforce to name a few. I am sure all of these would have seemed hard headed and at least in the case of Galileo herectical.

    It is important then that when the call to stand for a cause comes, to be prepared, study the issues, remain open minded and teachable, but most of all do all with the strength that comes from true humility.
    Paul S Allen

  6. Decisions tell us something about the values of the decider. If a decision is made quickly, we know the decider values urgency. Some decisions reflect a great deal of humanity. The rulings of the biblical king Solomon are legendary because they display intelligence and insight into human character. A manager may decide to save a business money, and lay off employees. About that manager, we might guess that he values the shareholders’ interest more than worker’s interest. A leader may choose to invest time and money into training employees well, and we can tell that this person values knowledge and personal development. The decisions are the key toward understanding how those values are honored in practice, not just pretty words to make people feel good.

  7. I love this- an excellent reminder for me to be a person of integrity- 100% despite the very strong pressure I have experienced to conform. I refuse! I steadfastly refuse to compromise my own knowledge & wisdom.

    I believe our society can & will live in even more abundance & wealth than ever before- AND that my vision CAN and WILL be achieved by ONLY acting honestly, with compassion, integrity & LOVE.

    I have a vision that spirituality & capitalism need not be adversaries, but that together, they are each others greatest allies.

    Thanks for reminding me, that inspite of, or perhaps because of those that disagree with me, I will continue to work towards creating my vision. Many will follow my lead, a small handful at first, but slowly, slowly we shall create the change we wish to see.

  1. Pingback: Leadership Idolatry « The WaterSide

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