Vol. 5 Num 286 Thu. March 17, 2005  

Call for effective leadership at all levels of national life

Speakers at a course yesterday underscored the need for effective leadership at all levels of national life.

"Everyone has a role to play in the development of the country," said British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury.

"Often it seems that only senior politicians can influence development… However, everyday people have ways to express themselves and make a difference," he said at the inaugural session of the course.

The Centre for Government Studies (CGS) organised the two-day 'Leadership Development Course' with an aim to "promote leadership for a better Bangladesh."

A group of selected university students are taking part in the course at the Sheraton hotel.

Osman Morad, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Prof Dr Ataur Rahman, Chairman of CGS, and Mahfuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star, also spoke.

The group of panelists stressed the importance of realising that leadership begins at a personal level and requires "being a doer."

"It is between you and your consciousness," said Mahfuz Anam. "One must have conviction and the courage to follow that conviction. One must be a dreamer and decide to act on that dream."

Elaborating on the 'Crisis of Leadership', Osman Morad said the same models that were used for leaders of the past will no longer suffice.

Tomorrow's leaders will need to have strengths in the softer skills; they will need to be encouraging, warm, enthusiastic, approachable and creative, he said.

The speakers also said those who want to become leaders should think beyond politics when thinking of the concept of leadership.

The British high commissioner added that a leader must be able to stand up and say 'no' when asked to do something they know is wrong and must also know when to pull back and allow a more competent person to take over.

"That is the ultimate act of leadership."