The Measure of a Leader

| July 27, 2017

World leaders have long been given the power to be influential figures and champions of change. Something so small as their vote or signature could be the difference between progress and stagnancy. However, what may easily be forgotten is the large responsibility that comes with the position. What they must remember is that their power has been given on behalf of those they serve – at least in theory. At the center of their position lie the people- the people that make up the given organization, nation, region, etc. The minute they forget who it is they represent is the minute they misuse their position. Leaders have an obligation to reflect the needs and requests of those they serve.


This was something that struck me when I was given the opportunity to attend the 50th meeting of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) with C-FAM. Simply being their was fascinating and engaging, yet the weight of each representative’s position did not elude me. Here is where the age old question arises: what makes a good leader?


The answer may not be as complicated as we have thought: one who is willing to serve. A leader is not merely a good public speaker, skilled debater, or a confident diplomat. These qualities, while valuable and useful, will matter for nothing if a person is not willing to serve. Sacrifice is the component that may least advertised when it comes to leading. To reach the point where you are able to speak, debate or philosophize demands sacrifice – sacrifice of your time, energy, and personal desires. And it does not stop there. Once you are placed in the position where you are able to put your skills to use, you must then remember that they are not solely for your success or benefit, but rather for the betterment of those you represent.


This opportunity with C-FAM allowed me to experience world politics in a way I never have. In all honesty, it was fascinating. Simply being present and taking notes on the debate was very engaging. However, I am also glad that I was able to come to the realization of the difficulty that comes with being a leader. And I can certainly say that I have seen that, as an organization, C-FAM is dedicated to the people they represent and are fighting for. They have shown that they are willing to work tirelessly to make the voice of the Christian community heard, and I was very happy to be able to catch a glimpse of their work – if only for a few days.


In the end, what I took away from this experience is the extreme importance of a leader realizing their responsibility, as they have the potential to awaken the potential in others. As said in an African proverb, “An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.”