Qualities of a Good Ruler
Having good leadership skills is critical in ensuring that organizations and governments function in accordance with set guidelines and principles. In the modern day society, people look up to the right rulers with quality leadership skills to guide them towards profitable and resourceful achievements. In hand, the society expects such individuals to possess certain skills sets that can be emulated by others in the near future. Therefore, a good leader is a person who is virtuous, able to find resolution, wise, universal-minded, noble, and happy to serve others.
Notably, a good ruler should be trustworthy in what he says. Such an individual should be honest enough to stay true to his/her words and promises. A trustworthy leader has to find a way to keep all promises he/she has made to his followers. Moreover, he/she should be trustworthy in all dealings with others and appreciate people who benefit him/her instead of focusing on obstacles. He/she should exert himself in the service rendered to his/her people and the Lord.
A good leader should lead by virtue. If he/she aligns the people with punishments, they will keep away from trouble but will experience a sense of shame; instead, if he/she leads by virtue, they will transform and stay away from trouble. A virtuous leader commands respect to everyone. Such an individual ought to be open minded, but focus on the things that are important and leave the doubtful opportunities. If he/she is virtuous in their undertaking, he/she will have few regrets. Only virtuous members of the society should rule, so that the wayward people in the community can look up to them. Moreover, he/she has to rule the individuals in a dignified manner and kindness, and they will reciprocate with enthusiasm. Mozi has said that in order to correct what people are doing wrong, a ruler has to give them an alternative (Mo & Watson, 2003). That is the way of a leader.
A good ruler should be kind because it works in his/her favor. People find a benevolent person in power more attractive. Akin leader makes a name for him/herself because even if h/she makes a mistake, it is considered an innocent wrongdoing.
A good ruler should follow the rules he/she is setting to the followers. Moreover, he/she should always strive to make a difference so that his people can be proud of their leader. He/she should look at what is moral and not what is profitable to him/her. In fact, the ruler should always be aiming to better him/herself. He/she should not complain as such practice wears people off. A person should always be respectful to his/her parents.
It is considered that a man who is resolved and who firmly takes his stand is fit to rule. A ruler must stand strong, as the task of governing the people is hard. Moreover, a man of understanding is suited to rule. In fact, an accomplished man has to take office. A man who survives by duping others is a disgrace to the society and only survives when he is being spared. Furthermore, if a ruler was an arrogant person, people would recognize the rest of his good qualities (Zhuangzi & Watson, 2013).
A good ruler should be wise. Wisdom is displayed by working to fulfil the need of people and respecting and recognizing bigger powers than own. He/she accumulates knowledge and is never tired of learning something new. Moreover, the leader should be grateful and always lead his people when they look up to him/her. When making plans, he/she should be cautious of making mistakes and should follow up his/her plan. A wise leader has to attain the rank legally, because leadership achieved through immoral ways shall not stand for long. In fact, a good ruler emulates the good in others and corrects in himself the evil observed in others. Furthermore, a ruler should not concern him/herself with matters that are not associated with his/her office. He/she never gets tired of teaching and never gets tired of learning, says Mencius.
A good ruler should as noble as Yao. He was brilliant, and the people knew his virtues. A good ruler should be like Yau, who sacrificed himself for the people. It is said that he resided in a lowly place and put away his expensive robes during sacrifices. He/she mixed with the poor without any discrimination. Moreover, it is believed that a man shall not accept as a friend another man who is not as good. He/she should respect officers of higher ranks and be affable to officers of lower ranks.
A good leader should be universal-minded. According to Mozi, universality makes a man to treat things that are not his as his (Mo & Watson, 2003). In this sense, countries would not attack each other because of the universality in their leaders and citizens. Universality in men leads to peaceful co-existence. A universal-minded leader will always try to benefit others because of the love he/she has for them. A universal ruler will think of his/her followers first, and in this way, he/she will care for them, nourish them, and protect them. He said that if the rulers taught their people to be universal-minded then problems like safety, food, and clothing would not exist.
Mozi also said that rulers should use the money paid by the people as taxes for beneficial deeds (Mo & Watson, 2003). He explicitly highlights kings buying musical instruments for entertainment. According to Mo and Watson, Mozi states that people pay their taxes and levies without grumbling about it because they know the money will benefit them. He says that people have three common needs, including food, clothing, and home, and, therefore, the joy derived from musical instruments will not fulfil any of them. Therefore, the philosopher goes a long way to assure the rulers to put the people’s money to a good use. Good rulers must exert their strength to make and accumulate the wealth for the people. They must attend to their duties or else the country will fall into disorder. Even the followers should be focused on making progress in order for the ruler to be successful. Obstacles, which Mozi generalizes as music and which make the ruler and the follower neglect his/her duty, should be avoided (Mo & Watson, 2003).
Mencius says that a great ruler should be submissive to things that are bigger and smaller than him (Mencius & Lau, 2003). He says that in this way he/she will be able to enjoy his kingdom. Moreover, a ruler should be calm because outbursts will make people fearing him. A good ruler should be worried about the state of his empire.
A good leader should have an unstirred heart. According to Mencius and Lau, pureness in the heart can be achieved in three ways. One way is to have courage when faced with danger. That is the ability to hold on to one’s counsel and stand. The second is to keep oneself composed when faced with any situation. Finally, one has to do the right thing without considering personal consequences. Mencius says that the source of courage is a belief that the things one is doing are right, and, hence, a ruler who delights in the light will forever have an unstirred heart (Mencius & Lau, 2003). Determination and willpower will encourage this feeling. However, a good ruler should not suppress fear. Instead, he/she is told to be more self-conscious when doing his daily undertakings.
A good ruler should access the leaders before him to establish what level of achievement can be reached. Mencius told that Confucius the Great accessed kings before him to identify the quality of their leadership and to learn from them because he was a sage king and wise enough to recognize the achievements of others who ruled before him (Lau, 2002). Furthermore, Lau notes that Confucius developed his moral standing by reflecting on his inner self and taking a journey through history.
The United States presidents should emulate all these qualities to lead effectively the county. This is because of the ruler, who is currently in the presidency, is evaluated by many individuals globally. The US president should look at the presidents before him to measure how far he can go. Moreover, Mozi suggests that a ruler is always eager to learn from others (Mo & Watson, 2003). Therefore, the US president should be keen to learn from others, become better that those who are currently better than he is, and correct the defects he sees in others. The US president is also expected to use tax money for the right purposes, for instance, ensuring the security of the American land and providing for the poor in the country. He should also lead by virtue. A good leader follows the law and enforces it on the people he governs to establish a peaceful environment. He should also be courageous. In his everyday duties, he is likely to face many situations that require courage. In this case, he is supposed to take the example of Confucius, reflect and believe what he is doing the right thing (Lau, 2002). He should be resolved as many people are likely to serve him in order to meet their interests. The US president should be universal-minded. It is an outstanding quality for the leader to see himself as a ruler of the free world. This enables him to treat everyone with compassion. If he is universal-minded, then he is likely to help other countries that are still developing.
However, it is unacceptable for the US president to befriend only those will benefit him. In fact, he should associate himself with everybody as he could learn new things even from the person he thought was not able to help. The United States president should despise unethical conducts.
In conclusion, a good leader is a person worth to be followed by others based on the qualities and character he/she displays. Such an individual upholds a certain level of morality that allows his/her to act ethically and follow the rules when leading the masses. Therefore, a quality leader should consider the qualities of real leaders, including trustworthiness, virtues, open-mindedness, wisdom, and seeking advice from others. By doing so, this individual can interact with others, while developing the fundamentals, and continue leading based on the information, he/she obtains from other respectable leaders.