“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”
I felt like I should put this out there seeing as we are just about to have our elections. Now anyone who witnessed what happened in Kenya in 2007 would understand why everyone is anxious about the elections.
I just pray and hope that peace will prevail regardless of the outcome.
Speaking of Mahatma Gandhi, ever wondered how he got the people of India to stand and not fight back the British military even when they massacred more than one thousand people at Amritsar in 1919?
Gandhi challenged the people to meet oppression with peaceful disobedience and noncooperation. His vision for change in India was based on nonviolent civil disobedience. In other words he was all about peace.
And he got the people of India to adopt his way of thinking, it wasn’t easy but he did it and as a result he became one of the greatest leaders this world has ever known.
Gandhi studied law in London. After finishing his education, he traveled back to India and then to South Africa where he worked for twenty years as a barrister and political activist. He fought for the rights of Indians and other minorities who were oppressed and discriminated against by South Africa’s apartheid and as a result gained a lot of respect from his people.
When he went back home and called out people to have peaceful strikes and demonstrations they actually followed him.
This is because his people had bought into him as a leader before they even bought into his vision: The law of buy-in.
If you have read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Power by John C. Maxwell, then you probably saw that coming.
As a leader, your vision might be lit. Your intentions might be so noble that they’d put you in the same category as Mother Theresa or Kenya’s own Nobel peace prize winner Wangari Mathai.
Your heart might be in the right place but it takes people following you first to see that. You have heard it said that people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.
This statement is very true, in fact it is because of this that you’ll see leaders with the exact same vision or in the case of political candidates, the same manifesto but different levels of influence.
Let’s take Osama Bin Laden or Adolf Hitler for instance. These two were horrible as human beings but they were incredible leaders and they got people to do unspeakable things simply because people bought into them as leaders.
They got people to trust in them as leaders before they could trust their visions. The law of buy-in.
To be honest, when I began reading this book, I had no intention of writing about it. In fact, at the time I was working on my previous post: What If You Wrote One Thank You Each Day?
Like all the other John C. Maxwell books I’ve read, this one did not disappoint. I could not put it down and it was not until I reached the tenth law (The Law of Connection) that I realized this information had to be shared.
The tenth law hit home for me. It spoke about all the qualities that I’d wish to have as a leader and all the qualities that I’d like my leaders to have.
Real leadership is not about what title you hold or who is in charge, it is about taking care of the people that are in your charge.
“People respond to benevolent intentions to a greater degree than they do to competence when reacting to authorities.”
It is just like the law of buy-in, before people buy into your vision as a leader they need to know that you care.
They need to hear it as you speak and most importantly see it in your actions. They need to know that the things that you do while in your position of power are for their own good and not laced with selfish intentions.
They need to trust you and the only way they can do that is if you establish a connection with them and I do not mean that you put on an act.
Be genuine and real, Barney Schwartz once said that it takes a lot of experience to learn how to care for people, the same can be said in regards to establishing a connection with people.
Out of all the 21 rules these two spoke to me the most because these are the things that most of us tend to forget when we take on a position of power. We tend to forget that we are in these positions because of our followers.
We forget that leadership is about servitude and that we need to give people a reason to follow us. Politicians tend to forget that it is because of the same people that they defraud that they are in power. They fail to realize that in a way the people are their employers.
Maybe this was more than a fascination with these two laws of leadership. Maybe it was a plea to my leaders to stop being selfish and think about the people, to stop lying to our faces and actually keep their promises and most importantly to practice servant leadership.
“The Servant Leader is a servant first. It begins with a natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from the one who is a leader first.” Robert K. Greenleaf.
Maybe it was a wake-up call to the people; before you even think about putting that leader into a position of power, do you trust him or her? Do you really believe that he or she cares for your well-being and that of others?
Are his/her words and actions a reflection of the type of leader that you want? Do they embody honesty and integrity, do they epitomize a leader who stands by his/her word and most importantly are they a reflection of a person who cares?