ATL – Secret of Leadership

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Secret of Leadership

193. The faculty of organisation is entirely absent in our nature, but this has to be infused. The great secret is–absence of jealousy. Be always ready to concede to the opinions of your brethren, and try always to conciliate. That is the whole secret. Fight on bravely! Life is short! Give it up to a great cause.

194. The combination of the Greek mind represented by the external European energy added to the Hindu spirituality would be an ideal society. For instance, it is absolutely necessary for you, instead of frittering away your energy and often talking of idle nonsense, to learn from the Westerner the idea of prompt obedience to leaders, the absence of jealousy, the indomitable perseverance and the undying faith in himself. As soon as he selects a leader for a work, the Westerner sticks to him through thick and thin and obeys him. Here everybody wants to become a leader, and there is nobody to obey. Everyone should learn to obey before he can command. There is no end to our jealousies; and the more important the person, the more jealous he is. Until this absence of jealousy and obedience to leaders are learnt, there will be no power or organisation.

195. Being of one mind is the secret of society. And the more you go on fighting and quarrelling about all trivialities the further you are off from that accumulation of energy and power which is going to make the future of your nation. For mark you, the future depends entirely upon that. That is the secret-accumulation of will-power, co-ordination, bringing them all, as it were, into one focus.

196. What you call majority is mainly composed of men of common intellect. Men who have brains to think for themselves are few, everywhere. These few men with brains are the real leaders in everything and in every department of work.

197. There is no allegiance possible where there is no character in the leader, and perfect purity ensures the most lasting allegiance and confidence.

198. The difficulty is not in organisation and making plans; the test, the real test, of the leader, lies in holding widely different people together along the line of their common sympathies. A leader must accommodate a thousand minds. And this can only be done unconsciously, never by trying.

199. He never becomes a leader in whose love there is a consideration of high or low. He whose love knows no end, and never stops to consider high or low, has the whole world lying at his feet.

200.Always first learn to be a servant, and then you will be fit to be a master. Avoid this jealousy, and you will do great works that have yet to be done.

201.It is a very difficult task to take on the role of a leader. One must crush all one’s own self under the feet of the community. One must be a servant of servants. There must not be a shade of jealousy or selfishness, then you are a leader.

202.An English friend of mine, named General Strong, was in India during the Sepoy Mutiny. One day, in the course of conversation, I asked him how it was that the sepoys who had enough of guns and ammunition, and were also trained veterans, came to suffer such a defeat. He replied that the leaders among them, instead of advancing forward, only kept shouting from a safe position in the rear, “Fight on, brave lads,” and so forth; but unless the commanding officer goes ahead and faces death, the rest will never fight with heart. It is the same in every branch. “A captain must sacrifice his head,” they say. If you can lay down your life for a cause, then only you can be a leader. But we all want to be leaders without making the necessary sacrifice. And the result is zero – nobody listens to us!

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