One of the most important feature of leaders is vision and one of the most important tasks of leadership is to think the future; thereby, anticipating the future through vision is a pillar of development.
Hopelessness and fatalism are two characteristics among vulnerable people, overcoming these traits is one of the vital issues of development. Confronting this panorama requires strong leadership; thus, leaders must infuse a belief in the future and project the role that followers might play in this scenario, as Shimon Peres said: “There are no hopeless situations, there are hopeless people.
When leaders credibly project hope in the future, societies may believe in a better tomorrow, this is a step to further developmental goals; the power of influence thus may serve as a basis to guide societies through necessary changes and the leader´s commitment is that the societies hoping and dreaming to attain better levels of social justice and development.
In fact, development it is not only an economic process, it is more than that, one way to tackle the “poverty trap” and overcome the chasm between the most vulnerable people and the rich is leadership and there is more to leadership than the providing the poor and vulnerable with state subsidies: the plea must be the state promote and create new leaders, from the grassroots up. One law of leadership is: when you lead, you teach; and this is the role that great leaders have and need to assume when trying to achieve national goals.
Any development agenda requires a kind of leadership that resemble a director of an orchestra, in order to achieve complex and interrelated societal goals, such as economic growth, education, technology, freedom, good governance, nutritional security, creativity, healthcare, justice, urban development, efficiency, transparency, and so on. Thus, there are no real dreams without leaders, and there are no great leaders without the faith of a Quixote.
The task to believe in tomorrow and have faith in the future is indispensable for great leadership as Martin Luther King Jr. claimed: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”. When whole nations stop dreaming about possible pathways to overcome abject poverty, violence and despair appear, and this means a lack of leadership.
Quixotes first dream and then find their Sanchos. Having a worthy cause or a noble idea is not enough, leaders must have a great asset: personal credibility inasmuch the people first believe in you as a leader and only then, they will also believe in your message about the future to build. True, the world envisioned by Don Quixote was far removed from reality, his actions gave rise to “quixotic” a term referring to outwardly noble endeavors to achieve foolish goals by utterly impractical means; however, there is much to learn from this character and his attitude.
Needless to say, leadership to do so could mean to also manage the future without other alternative difference to be an optimist. As Napoleon insisted: a leader is a dealer in hope!!! See you the next month.