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Needed: Competent leaders with character

The level of uncertainty that we have to endure at present is unprecedented in our lifetime. We have leaders that chop and change their minds with very short notice before things need to be implemented and it leads to chaos in every sphere of our society.


Western Province Rugby bosses at the last moment decide to step away from a contract to sell the Newlands Rugby Stadium and then find themselves in even bigger trouble than ever before. With good governance the WP Rugby Union should never even have landed in this debt debacle they now need to face.


Also Cricket SA finds themselves in all sorts of troubled waters. Twenty years ago we were shocked when Hansie Cronje and a couple of other Protea Cricket players were suspended for siding with gambling companies to fix the outcome of certain cricket matches.
Now Cricket SA announced that their new sponsor is an international betting company.

How will I ever again believe that the outcome of any of our cricket matches were not pre-match determined?

To me as a cricket fan this is a slap in the face. Will Cricket SA take the same measures as in Hansie’s case should the captain or players be caught siding with a sponsor to “fix” a match? Sorry Cricket SA, I will no more trust the outcome of the matches our players are involved in, so please do not call on me again to stand behind the team.


Then another one of these confusions hit us. Three days before a great number of pupils can at long last return to school, it is announced that half of them will not return to school on that day anymore. I know teachers who put in a lot of planning and hard work for a couple of weeks to get everything ready and now just one quick announcement and you leave them all with just more uncertainty. Now they need to re-schedule to adapt to this new situation.

I think our present day leaders’ lack of character is evident in the consequences of the decisions they make and it seems like they don’t really care about the chaos they cause.

# Present day leaders

I think for many present day leaders it is more about the position than about the people or the organization they are supposed to lead and serve.

Although a certain position may give you some authority, it does not make you a good leader.

Many people in high positions have lately become the laughing stock of society. One only needs to watch some speeches on TV and you’ll be able to know whether you are listening to a leader or somebody who just want to use his or her position to impress or threaten you.

Exceptional leadership

Great leaders have influence

and people will follow them regardless of their position. Attributes of great leaders include clarity and decisiveness. They are clear on their vision and what needs to be accomplished.

In the Bible Moses’ father in law taught him about the qualities he should look for when appointing leaders over the people. “You shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers.” (Exo 18:21)

It seems that besides the competence of leaders their character was what mattered most. 1Cor 15:33 says “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits,’” and in Prov 29:12 we read that “If a ruler pays attention to lies, all his servants become wicked.”

Perhaps we should bear in mind the following wise words the next time we appoint leaders; “An employer who hires any fool that comes along is only hurting everybody concerned.” (Pro 26:10) Let us be cautious whenever we next appoint (hire) leaders to represent our country or organisations.

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