by Faisal Ahmed
Politics is about managing the people’s emotions. Often success correlates with how skillful the public servant is in managing the erratic emotions of the civilians.
The emotions are never based on facts and accurate information but rather on rumors, fabricated facts and often misrepresented information. The people often forget about themselves and their responses to various stimuli at any given time.
If we kept track of our emotional responses to various stimuli, we will probably manage to exert some control over our erratic behaviors. I am also a victim of my own emotional responses. I feel humbled reviewing my diary and a times my Facebook to see the person I have become. Dr. Goleman says that while maturity has different definition, one of it is the ability to widen the gap between impulses and actions. Another distinguished author recommends asking ourselves how we will feel about our decisions few minutes or years later. Whenever I question my responses to stimuli, I usually end up with no response at all.
Emotional reactions to occurrences and events in Somalia is bothersome and disastrous tothe recovery process from civil strife. Our country is divided and our loyalty to the nation is also divided between and among so many competing loyalties such as loyalties to our clans, and others that continue to destroy our shared values and dreams.
Honorable men are not perfect and mistakes will occur during their reign. If we expect perfect leaders, we should probably seek the services of the Angels but we live on earth so we must govern ourselves.
We have the right to question our leaders and express our dissatisfaction with their actions yet, we need to remember that leadership is not easy. Probably if we were in their position, we will make the same decision.
Just think about the classic case ofthe innocent fat man. The choice here is sacrificing the innocent fat man or the rest of the people in the cave. It is a difficult choice. This classic case is the reality of leading a nation. Leaders must make choices and those choices are hard.
We need to develop a way to control our responses to social and politic stimuli. Likewise, wemust guide our actions so that the outcome of our action is beneficial. Similarly, we mustunderstand the challenges of leadership and work to promote our shared values.
Our leaders must control their responses to events and occurrences. Messages coming from the leaders must be unified and consistent. You can no longer comments on events to keep up with your fb fans or followers on Twitter. Now you are a leader of a nation. You must insubordinate this to the call of leadership.
We can also benefit from continually seeking to improve ourselves. The leaders must surround themselves with capable advisors who won’t shy away from the truth. At least reading should also be part of the daily leadership regiments. A leader who isn’t an active learner and who surrounds himself with sycophants will lead us to a path of failures.
As starting point, I highly recommend our leaders to subscribe to leading journals and publications- Harvard Business Review, Science Journals and skill tools. Spending few hours reading a journal, a book or just listening to podcast from leading scholars around the world will help you make sense of the noises around you.