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THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A LEADER

There are many indispensable qualities that people who are in positions of leadership must possess, such as foresight and decisiveness. But what is the most important of these essential qualities, the one that if someone doesn’t have it, they don’t meet the requirements to be a leader? I think it is trust.

Without having earned people’s trust, it doesn’t matter how many wonderful words you string together in order to persuade them, because those words will not reach their hearts. But a leader who has earned people’s trust can change their minds with just a single word.

Where does this trust come from? First and foremost, it comes from honesty.

“Honesty” is when we don’t see even the slightest difference in a person whether we look at their public face or glimpse their private selves. Another source of trust is the inclination to cherish people above all else.

But the type of person who fawns on their superiors while snuggling up to them, yet completely changes their attitude when it comes to subordinates, ranting and raving at them, is not even in the ballpark. All that is important to them is their own position.

A leader must be the type of person who forgets about themselves and thinks about the happiness of others. The basis of our happiness and success is our relationships with others. I think we can definitively say that people who do not prioritize their relationships with others will never succeed at anything.


Nikkyo Niwano

From Kaisozuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing Co. 1997), pp 154-55

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