Who Will Pay For Your Bullheadedness?

If you’ve been following the news recently your ears should certainly have had echo of some folkloric jargons from our honourable leaders. If one has been boasting ‘rezilta lor rezilta”, another one has been retorting “fiasco lor fiasco” in utter disagreement. These expressions of specific outcomes and the tone in which they are uttered herald the kind of mindset our leadership is into.

Confrontation is becoming so harsh that it’s complex to comprehend what they really want to drive home. It’s not the aim of this article to delve into the merits or demerits of these assertions. Rather we’ll try to look into the psychology behind one or the other outcome.

From “fiasco lor fiasco” (failure upon failure) to “rezilta lor rezilta” (results upon results or success upon success), it takes an attitude. It takes a mentality. It takes a conviction, a commitment to vision, a vision of innovation, a vision of hope and certainty, and a vision of unambiguous outcomes.

The recipe for success is not complicated; although the means to achieve that success may be an arduous undertaking. Scholars in management will tell you if you pursue one goal after another in a disciplined, consistent, coherent, patient, perseverant and progressive manner there’s no reason why you should fail, unless you are bullheaded.

You want “rezilta lor rezilta”? Do the right things; and do things right. Make sure you have a supportive team of the right people in the right place; not those cronies who are in for their pound of flesh, juicing out your credibility and driving you right into mediocrity. Get rid of those practices that may make a system parasitic.

In his great book “True Success” Tom Morris says: “The happiest people in the world are people who love what they are doing, regardless of whether wealth, fame, power and elevated social status ever come their way. The most fulfilled people are individuals who delight in their work, whatever it might be, and strive to do it well.”

Do we have the right mindset for selfless dedication to a cause? Mindsets, which are an important part of our personality, are malleable. You can think and react in new ways to ensure you learn from your mistakes or failures in an effort to grow above the rest.

John F Kennedy, 35th US President, had a vision for his people. In his inaugural speech he called his fellow countrymen “to commit themselves to service and sacrifice”: “Don’t ask what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country”. It was a solemn call for the people “to commit themselves to service and sacrifice”. He went further on addressing to the world: “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” He believed in change as a driver for better future: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

But that was just John F Kennedy, a statesman of vision, one that inspired hope, passion and love. He spoke the language of possibility; not a language that offends or diminishes human dignity. Here people are just looking in the rear mirror and missing what lies ahead.

True and responsible leaders don’t play victims. They don’t indulge persistently in blame games. When the time is tough and the going gets rough, when “scandals lor scandals” is signaling havoc, they bite the bullet. Free from any partisan considerations, they boldly embark on an unselfish determination to deliver and to encourage those around them to get in gear. They learn from their critics, while staying focused and making that extra effort to live up to the expectations of those they represent. They speak the language of truth. Because they know they can fool people once, not all the time.

Successful leaders have a sense of empathy. They understand the value of natural leadership power that’s within each one of us. They harness this natural power for the advancement of the cause they uphold. They do not pass the bucks because they know that “pas-moi-sa-li-sa” (it’s not me, it’s them) attitude and mindset, in critical situations, is a sure-fire recipe for “fiasco lor fiasco”. They assume responsibility for whatever they do. They do not pay much heed to artificial leadership or the power attached to their position or the post they occupy.

In fact these are the leaders who wouldn’t like to be propelled to a leadership position at all cost, a leadership that goes beyond the limits of popularity. They know that such power is but transient and is lost once they lose their position. That’s why they’ll work their way through to charismatic leadership position and make judicious use of the power of their natural leadership to inspire and motivate people to perform at high levels, and to be committed to the organization or the cause.

Leaders worthy of name refrain from resorting to abusive, aggressive, threatening, violent, vindictive or vengeful acts. Before taking any action they measure the potential of any damage, especially if a cycle of such events were to occur. They are conscious that the wheel keeps on turning and a backlash has the possibility to seriously stake stability.

In an article on “The Benefits, Costs, and Paradox of Revenge, Karina Schumann and Michael Ross, University of Waterloo” which examines the “psychology of revenge” the paragraph on “The Cost of Revenge” has the following argument, among others: “Rather than induce cooperation, revenge might often motivate counter-revenge and prolonged feuds (Kim & Smith, 1993)”.  It goes further on to state as example: “The cycles of vengeful acts occurring between Israelis and Palestinians, Shi’ites and Sunnis, Hindus and Sikhs, Irish Catholics and Protestants, and Rwandan Tutsis and Hutus, are just a few examples of conflicts in which revenge appeared to beget more rather than less aggression.” (The underlining is mine).

So the questions we need to ask ourselves: “Is it worth avenging on our opponents?” “Are we doing the right thing, or is it the right course of action?” Your heart and your sense of reasoning, rather than your ego, will give you the answer, Ego is nothing more than an inflated feeling of pride in your perceived superiority to others that lead you to act for your own self-interest rather than in the interest of others who might be dependent on you and your actions. There are so many starving and lamenting mouths out there; while a fortunate few (how fortunate?) are literally swimming in multi-million oceans.

Whether you are heading a social group, a club, an association, a business organization, a political party or a country the principles remain the same, although some extent of adjustments might sometimes be warranted. Your leadership style and attitude will determine how far you’ll succeed or lamentably fail. You need to be wary of all the consequences of your actions or omissions on those you represent. Would it be fair to make them pay for your failure and any of your wrongdoings? Who will pay for your bullheadedness?

So “fiasco lor fiasco” or “rezilta lo rezilta”, it’s a matter of the choice you make in your decision making process. It takes a whole new mindset to do things that do not pose unnecessary threat to the future of our off springs.

Alfa King Memories

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