A leader can be described as an individual who influences others to willingly pursue certain desired objectives. Leadership is a continuous process of learning. Good leadership is a product of thorough study, discipline, education, training and experience. In addition, leaders are also expected to have a combination of skills, knowledge, character, ethics, values and beliefs that demystify them from their subordinates. Most of the successful transformational leaders in history and our time exhibit these qualities.
Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most celebrated leaders in the history of colonization. His ascent from a little known person to a leader and mentor who led India to independence is remarkable. When he got back to India in 1915, he took time to observe the political conditions that prevailed in the country. This was a period characterized by the oppression of his people under the rule of the British masters.
Gandhi resorted to the adoption of nonviolent means to address the suffering of his people under the oppressive reign of British imperialists. He mobilized protests by farmers, peasants and urban workers against discrimination and imposition of punitive land taxes. He also initiated civil boycotts through civil rights movements. In 1919, he led the people against the oppressive Rowlatt Acts. This earned him a considerable reputation as a nationalist politician. This is because Gandhi understood that the country could not progress with the existence of inherent oppressive tendencies by the British regime.
Gandhi was a spiritual man. The vision of a democratic India that he held so dearly was entrenched in religious pluralism. His saintliness was depicted in the fact that he did not believe that the killing of his people by the colonialists should be countered by the same kind of action. When several unarmed Indians were massacred in Punjab, he presented his displeasure over the incident by preparing a report about the atrocity. He then initiated movements of non-cooperation with the British regime. Instead, he proposed that Indians should learn to be self-reliant because that was the key to real self-independence. He was arrested, tried and imprisoned for six years after the Chauri Chaura incident in February 1922 where many Indian policemen were killed by the people. During his trial, he responded to the charges raised against him by a spirited and powerfully delivered indictment of the British regime.
In 1925, Gandhi was released from imprisonment due to poor health. The British were afraid that the death of such a national icon could drag the country into outright turmoil. However, poor health was not a hindrance to Gandhi’s effort to achieve a socially, economically and politically balanced India. Immediately after his release, he embarked on a mission to quell the religious tensions that existed between the Muslims and the majority Hindu faithful. According to Gandhi, it would be more effective to fight against the colonial rule as a united front than as a divided people. He refused to accept that the Hindu and Muslim represented two different elements of Indian people. He instead wrote works to argue that India was in fact facing problems of illiteracy, poor hygiene and unemployment that had to be addressed. This portrayed the journalistic attributes of Gandhi- a true depiction of his active intervention through the use of literary works.
Working as a medical doctor, the ability to provide good medical services to patients depends greatly on how I relate with my patients and other members of the medical team. This illustrates that as a medical doctor, I have to be a team player. My profession entails sometimes working under pressure to ensure the good health of patients and even save human life. In the same way that good leaders prioritize their subordinates, the first concern for a medical doctor is the safety and needs of his or her patients. Effective leaders treat their subordinates as equals aiming for the attainment of a common goal. Offering medical services in an effective way means that as a doctor, I have to treat my patients with dignity and respect. Good leaders are also good listeners. As a medical doctor, I often listen to the concerns of my patients and respond to them accordingly. This helps improve the quality of service delivery. I continued pursuing my education from undergraduate to masters level in Psychiatry to help improve my knowledge and skills in relating with the patients. Having two children with special needs has motivated me to spread my service to humanity through volunteer work. Taking care of them constantly reminds me that there are a lot of people out there who need my help. This is why I visit hospitals and schools for volunteer work whenever I find time to do so.
Adams, Simon. Mahatma Gandhi. Austin, TX: Raintree, 2003. Print.
Allen, Douglas. Mahatma Gandhi. London: Reaktion Books, 2011. Print.
Mahatma Gandhi. Mosman: IMinds, 2009. Print.