A letter to the significant leader

A letter to the significant leader


Dear leader,


I write to you as a fellow leader. Let us reason together about issues that concern us and our leadership challenge. I respect the role that you fulfil and realise how daunting of a task it is to be a leader. You have done well so far, even though you often do not get adequate recognition for your noble efforts and the challenges.


Everyone agrees with you that your role is challenging, important and critical. How can we forget the magnificent changes you have brought about, the vision you have implemented so well and the grand strategies, and innovations you have designed with unequalled success. Indeed, you are the envy of other leaders.


But I have just a few matters I humbly beg to reason with you.


First, I have observed how leaders cut people to size and put them in their place. I have noticed how they gloat when others hurt because of their actions. They call others belittling names; they use foul language and threaten others with the unceremonious withdrawal of their “leadership favours”. Indeed, they are feared leaders. Their teams are so afraid of them, that they often trip all over themselves trying to get out of the way of these feared leader.


Do they really have to do that just to make their leadership felt? They have left behind them a trail of broken people, dashed hopes and broken dreams as they ascended to their noble and important task to lead. Yes, at some places they even left dead bodies of those who gave their all to please the leader to the detriment of their own God-given health and even their very sacred lives. These esteemed leaders shout slogans like, “everyone is irreplaceable” and “I will not think twice about replacing anyone”. They are untouchable, unreachable and “mighty” in their own eyes.


Second, I have noticed how unhappy leaders. Outside they act tough, but hide weakened characters inside. They wear beautiful convincing masks to hide their inner scars and loneliness because they have turned everyone against them with their hunger for success. These leaders are public successes – to the point of celebrity status – but, in reality are hopeless private losers. They pursue public victories while they run away with shame from private battles.


I am therefore writing to you my fellow leader to join me in looking into the mirror. That person we see in the mirror, how similar is s/he with the leaders I mentioned above? How do we begin to change the wo/man in the mirror to be more serving, humble, empathetic, loving, caring and strong inside?


It all begins with me – the wo/man in the mirror. It begins with you. What kind of a leader do you want to be?


Many leaders conform to the contemporary pressure of the circumstances to be egotistic, self-serving, arrogant, heartless, uncaring and manipulative. Theirs is not success at all but war – war against themselves – a self-destructive occupation. At the end of their lives they are so wasted, unhappy, and with nothing significant to show for their rosy lives. They are afraid of facing their final exit with a loving smile knowing how much damage they have caused and regret having no opportunity to correct their mistakes. How the mighty have fallen!


You are a good leader, a significant leader so leave a life of significance. Touch lives positively with your role and leave a lasting legacy. At the end, look back with a smile and walk on!


Your humble fellow leader in search of significance,


Yours Sincerely,


Sello Helepi