As the USA prepares to inaugurate a new and very different President and as Thailand prepares to crown a new King and elect a new government, I have been pondering what a national leader should be like. Here is my tentative description of national leaders who are worthy of respect and honor.
A WORTHY NATIONAL LEADER IS ONE WHO WORKS TO:
1. Unify the nation to include all portions of the population no matter how small or recent.
Rationale: Long-term national integrity is enhanced by rapid integration.
KPI (key performance indicator that the goal is being sought by the national leaders): Special attention is paid to rapidly diminish the disadvantages of being a recent immigrant or people at risk.
Example: HM King Rama IX of Thailand visited and supported development projects for every ethnic and regional group in the kingdom.
Counter-indicator: Particular groups are excluded or identified as undesirable.
2. Value the cultural heritage of the nation and respect the cultural contributions of all ethnic sectors.
Rationale: National pride is enhanced by valuing unique components of the national fabric.
KPI: Nationally sponsored projects and holidays signify that cultural events and heroes of minority groups are as valued as are those of the ethnic core majority.
Example: Black History Month in the USA
Counter-indicator: Only founders or the ruling elite are honored.
3. Protect those who are most vulnerable by insuring their security, health, education, essential resources and livelihoods.
Rationale: Human survival and human dignity are human rights. A nation is only as sustainable as its promotion of human rights.
KPI: progress is being made to expand equal access to legal protection and safety, health care, universal education, jobs with sufficient pay, and people’s control over their own lives.
Example: European plans for access to education and health care for all.
Counter-indicator: Health care costs for any individual could bankrupt them and their families or force them to forego needed medical care.
4. Enhance the circumstances of future generations.
Rationale: Fundamental resources must be available forever.
KPI: support is provided for visionary, valid scientific and humanitarian research and action is consistent with those discoveries.
Example: Sustainable healthy environment.
Counter-indicator: carbon emissions are ignored and/or industries that contribute to environmental destruction are allowed to continue doing so.
5. Promote world peace, human welfare, and international justice.
Rationale: The world is essentially one and people prosper when they are free from threat.
KPI: mutual regard and shared responsibility for international tribunals and inter-governmental organizations.
Example: United Nations
Counter-indicator: Actions are taken to withdraw from international forums and accountability.
6. Provide informed, enlightened leadership as a role model for others in national leadership.
Rationale: Leaders should lead.
KPI: the leaders articulate a consolidated vision for achieving the above objectives.
Example: The Prime Minister of Canada
Counter-indicator: Policies fragment society and isolate the nation from the community of nations.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.