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Ali Ihsan

Webmaster, TEDxBaghdad

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what are the traits of a successful leader?

What in your opinion are the qualities of a successful leader ?
would you mention an example of a living leader who may have this , and achieved great outcome ?

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    Jan 20 2014: Re the crucial input of women in government: Self-taught, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning historian Barbara Tuchman saved the Earth and all its inhabitants in 1962. Her book, "The Guns of August," detailed the male-dominant, inbred, Hapsburg/Saxe-Coburg insanity that led up to the horrific meat-grinder of World War One.

    During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when Soviet nuclear missiles were placed in Cuba in response to nuclear missiles we (the US) had placed in Turkey along the Russian border, the generals advising our president John F. Kennedy strongly argued for a nuclear "first strike," since we had a 5 to 1 superiority in missiles over the Soviets.

    Fortunately for the entire world, Kennedy had read "The Guns of August" and clearly saw how aggressive, male-dominant insanity was raising its ugly head yet again; yet the costs of war were exponentially higher in 1962 than 1914. He slammed copies of Tuchman's book on his generals' desks, telling them to read it.

    One woman. One book. This is the sword-edge that humanity's fate stood upon in 1962. Humanity simply cannot and will not survive without significant governmental input from women.
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    Jan 19 2014: "Why is it continually inferred that the age of the “pagan” religions, the time of the worship of the female deities (if mentioned at all) was dark and chaotic, mysterious and evil, without the light of order and reason that supposedly accompanied later male religions, when it has been archeologically confirmed that the earliest law, government, medicine, agriculture, metallurgy, wheeled vehicles, ceramics, textiles and written languages were initially developed in societies that worshipped the Goddess?"

    -Merlin Stone, quoted in The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

    An excerpt from my review of Leonard Shlain's book, "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image":

    " In The Sorrows of Empire, Chalmers Johnson lists these twelve empires and dynasties that fell in a mere hundred years since 1891: Spanish, Manchu, Romanoff, Austrian-Hungarian, Ottoman, Imperial German, Dutch, French, British, Japanese, Nazi Germany, and Soviet. The United States, with more than 900 military bases worldwide, is an empire that is solely based upon oil and could certainly fall soon after the world virtually runs out of oil and natural gas a few decades from now.

    " When the New Dark Ages begin, humans will abandon the northern latitudes and deserts and trees will disappear, being burnt for warmth. At that point people will use anything for fuel, including millions of scholarly tomes that describe in left brain labyrinthine detail how our empires rose and fell. As much as I love to read and write, I suggest that that might not be as great a loss as it seems at first. The wise and discerning right brain can easily condense the knowledge contained in those mountains of books into a single, profound fact: Empires rise and fall because of the left brain folly of us idiots of the male persuasion!"
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    Jan 19 2014: Modern leaders should have the wisdom to install a large number of women in their governments. If their cultures do not permit this, then those cultures will never have good leaders. Why? Women are right-brained and think in holistic terms much more than we men do. To omit women from government is to omit holistic, synthesizing, problem-solving and concrete thought processes from our deliberations, and this is pure social suicide.
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    Jan 19 2014: Carefully study Barack Obama and do the opposite.
    • Jan 19 2014: so funny :) ... and You can extend that to most european leaders. Where I live. I think the bottom line is Hollande in France. "Reverse" that man and get an awesome leader.
  • Jan 19 2014: Hi Ali,I think a successful leader should have high understanding of life:career,family,society,the whole world...the belly could be as wide as universe:)
  • Jan 16 2014: There are many books on this. Also, there are a number of articles in Forbes, HBR.
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    Jan 16 2014: José Mujica is one example of a great current leader according to me. He's known as the poorest president in the world, earns $12'000 and gives 90% of that away to charity and small businesses.

    Also since he came into power there have been a lot of radical good change in Uruguay.


    We once had a president like this in Sweden, he's name was Olof Palme and he was a great leader, loved by most and hated by some. He was shot the same year that I was born but everybody still knows who he was and speak well of him. He was our Nelson Mandela and since he got murdered our country has been doing worse and worse.

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    Jan 15 2014: probably a willingness to work and take risks. I'm thinking of Billie Joe Armstrong, the leader of the Green Day rock band, as a leader in the arts who got where he got by working hard and taking risks. I would also say it's important for a leader to be humble (I don't know if Billie Joe is humble, I would guess he is), and to be interested in other people, not just him or herself. Why are you asking, Ali, do you wish to be a leader?
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    Jan 15 2014: Great Leadership....
    OK, When a group of people having accomplished a seemingly insurmountable task, look around and wonder who got us all here.... That is a great leader.
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    Jan 14 2014: Define successful leader ... you later add great outcomes ... Hitler meets both of these.

    Time, circumstance, and (as Scott said) enough sheep in the corral.

    Jim Jones got people to knowingly line up and drink poison ... now that is leadership.

    Would you consider Omar Kadafi a successful leader? It really makes no difference if the administration was good or bad ... was it a success?

    Would you rate the Obama administration as a success ... it got Obamacare instilled but at great costs and many lies. More problems are coming forth each day ... we are 16 trillion in debit ... economically in peril ... no diplomacy ... and a laughing stock in the world ... but he got a social program approved ... is he successful?

    Most successes are dictators ... or socialist / communist heads of state ... by most measures they are successful in rising to the top ... they have great outcomes .... Stalin is a great man in history / Hitler / Idi Amin / etc ...

    We would really have to limit the term success to eliminate the evil doers of the world.

    Again ... time ... circumstances ... good bull shiter .... and enough sheep in the corral.
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    Jan 14 2014: having people willing to be followers..
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      Jan 14 2014: well , I don't think that would make a great leader , if he is unwise in his leadership , his followers won't last for long !
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        Jan 14 2014: a great leader is one who uses whatever is in their power to inspire a following - which is why so many "great" leaders are dictators.

        a great PERSON has no desire to lead others. just as a great person has no desire to follow.

        while people can set good examples or have clever ideas or a sharp turn of phrase, none of those things are reason to follow a person.

        "don't follow leaders" - Bob Dylan.
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      Jan 14 2014: "Derek Sivers: How to start a movement"

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        Jan 14 2014: he keeps talking about "having guts". it looks more like it's about "having drugs" which , of course, is the short-cut to courage.

        it wouldn't be the first time a group of people followed an addict..
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    R H 30+

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    Jan 14 2014: I would offer that the #1 trait is that the 'leader' has proactively influenced the group in the accomplishment of the agreed upon goal. #2 would be that the group would want the same person on their team for the next endeavor.
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      Jan 14 2014: I couldn't agree more , in other words (for #2) to be close to the group and lead by example
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    Jan 14 2014: A great (successful) leader is one who can inspire and mobilize a big group of people to think, act, or react a certain way: Someone who is not scared to face the most difficult challenges facing humanity and someone whose wisdom will have far-reaching and long-lasting impact on society.
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      Jan 14 2014: well , so basically he can transfer his goals into the team's goals , and to be courageous in facing all the challenges , thanks Rodrigo
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    Jan 13 2014: Great question!

    You should watch "Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action" http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action
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      Jan 14 2014: Thanks Jimmy , and really thank you for the suggestion .
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        Jan 15 2014: I'm glad that you liked it (and watched it, so many think that I share links just for fun). Tell me, what did you learn about leadership from the Talk?