Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Leaders and leadership are not always the same

By Ray Kearney - posted Monday, 24 October 2011

Major global trend-forecasters are sounding the alarms that humanity is on the verge of entering into the most tumultuous period in our history. The prospects of a global depression, global war on an unimagined scale and societal collapse are increasing.

Governments have been optimistic with all their happy talk. Is the worst really behind us? Raising interest rates is one way to find out! Maybe our leaders need to look at the facts! Is the economy in deep trouble - hence the delay in raising interest rates now?

Worldwide, the economic crisis has many bubbles. The main event on the horizon is the "bailout bubble" and the general world-debt bubble, which could plunge the world into a Great Depression.


The U.S. government keeps hyping "recovery" the way Bush hyped "terrorist threat" and "weapons of mass destruction" (WMD). The recovery seems no more real than the threats. Indeed, it is possible that the economic collapse has hardly begun.

Government economic policy must address the systemic crisis in incomes of working-class Australians. For many, real income ceased to grow some years ago. As in the U.S., many in Australia substituted second jobs and debt accumulation for the missing growth in real wages. With households in debt and jobs disappearing, these substitutes for real income growth no longer exist. Some 50% of marriages in Sydney allegedly face breakdown because of financial hardship.

How does an economy based heavily on consumer spending recover when so many high-value-added jobs, and the GDP and payroll tax revenues associated with them, have been moved offshore and when consumers have no more leverage to increase their spending? Where is the political leadership that understands e.g., the reasons for increased oil prices?

Urgency for real leadership seems everywhere! Leaders and leadership are not always the same. We desperately need a 'transforming leader' - a person who aims to develop a new level of awareness and understanding among our citizens.

Time and circumstance can forge leadership qualities in men and women. Leaders can be effective but dangerous by their treachery and intimidation - some being responsible for millions of deaths. Great leadership is more than just satisfying one's personal desires - political or otherwise. Morality and right values are also necessary for leadership whether of a government, a political party, company, school or the home. So what characteristics are noticed in great leaders who are known by their fruits?

Leaders provide people with a vision and articulate that vision to show how others may reach it. Embodied within that vision are achievable goals. People need to know where they are going! Double-minded leaders are likely to lead people somewhere else. Leaders help formulate policies to find solutions to problems and move forward. Carping is not about real political leadership!


Great leaders have wisdom, which is the ability to get the facts, then to weigh them up in the light of proper understanding of the causes of effects and to make right decisions under given circumstances. Men and women of truth live in the world of facts, not fictions. Thus great leaders have ability. Leadership positions are not for novices!

Men and women of ability, expertise and experience are required for governing and representing others. Some systems of government promote people to positions of leadership on patronage rather than merit. Often people are rewarded with positions of leadership based more on whom they know than on their abilities. Inevitably the nation/public suffers as lack of vision, inability to articulate it, bad policy, poor decisions and failure to inspire confidence are exposed in poor leaders as we have today.

Whilst Prime Minister Julia Gillard was denying a carbon tax, her government had already committed, without a mandate, $599 million to UN climate-change handouts over the current three-year Budget period. About $470 million has already been allocated.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

6 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Dr Ray Kearney is Associate Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, The University of Sydney and a community advocate for the installation of filtration systems in traffic tunnels to remove noxious exhaust pollution.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Ray Kearney

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 6 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy