I have watched and observed to nature of successful political leaders all over the world. Political leadership is highly competitive and sometimes very dirty. When one chooses to be on this arena, they need to have made up their mind as it requires perseverance and diligence. One needs to count the cost before embarking on this journey.
1. Strong campaign machinery – knowing what to promise the people. A good leader identifies what people are facing and uses all the weak points or the cries of the people to craft a campaign strategy. That way it is easy to win the attention of the people.
2. Strong action on promises – For success to come, a leader who promises goes back and meets every single promise made. Meeting the promise in some instances may not be 100% but an attempt is made. This is to avoid having to use the same weak points in the next campaign
3. Impeccable record of integrity – the track record of the leader plays an important role in the success of he leader in office. People will always check where the leader is coming from. Whether the leader has led anyone in his/her own life and what people who were led are saying.
4. Ability to communicate and address issues – Successful political leaders have the ability to communicate and articulate issues meticulously. A leader must speak what people can comprehend. In most instances the majority of the people who vote a leader into office are those who may not be affluent but requiring a leader to use native language to appeal to them.
5. The love for the common person – It is easy to desire the office of political leader for ulterior motives that come with power but a genuine leader who then becomes successful is the one who has a love for the common person on the street. You can not fake your love for the people. People know if you are simply doing things to be seen or you have other issues you have been addressing even without publicity.
6. Strong intellectual power – A successful leader is one who endeavors to upgrade his/her mental capacity. Political leaders is a huge responsibility. You could be running a whole province, district or even country. Certainly there is a greater need to have a mind that works. Consider the fact that you could be leading people with bigger mindsets than yours.
7. Ability to work with and setup powerful teams – You will not be able to lead alone. You need people below you to play their part well. Everyone’s contribution to making the dream come true is important. Their success increases your visibility to the electorate. You can not handle health as well as mining and so on at an operational level but rather strategic point.
8. Visionary who can see beyond the immediate – You need to be able to cast vision for 10 or 20 years to come. Within the time you are in office you must be seen to be working towards the vision that forgetting what you promised them. Once a vision is cast, walk towards it.
9. Strong networking skills – In politics, every nation requires the help of other nations, every province relies on lessons from other areas to make the improvements it requires. A good networker is a potential candidate for political office.
10. Problem identification and solving skills – As a political leader, you could have been elected to solve a crisis that people face, Your ability to identify the root cause of a problem and prescribing a solution is an important facet of your success in political office.
Rabison Shumba is a young African entrepreneur who has interests in Information and Communication Technology, Agriculture and Mining. He is also a motivational speaker, trainer and author. His book, The Greatness Manual and various online articles are tools for personal and professional development. Together with 100 other Career Experts, Rabison co-authored the 101 Great Ways to Enhance your Career. Rabison has a personal vision of impacting the lives of children in marginalized communities by creating platforms for career counsel and guidance, information empowerment and capacity building through the Greatness Factory Trust, where he currently holds the position of Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Acting Executive Director. He is actively involved in the organization of career enhancement and guidance colloquiums to propel and inspire both young and mature professionals to greatness. His areas of expertise include strategy, leadership, personal and professional development. Rabison is married to Jackie, and they have two daughters. They reside in Harare, Zimbabwe. [http://www.greatnessmanual.com] or