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Kamis, 12 Februari 2009

Nation-based Leadership

Being a leader and a leadership are two different things. Leadership is a system. As a result, cooperative, collectivity and integrity are indispensable. Failures in leadership usually happen because of the belief that leadership is an individual work.

In this modern era, not a single achievement could be attributed solely to a single individual. A product is usually the result of collective work. In the aviation industry, for instance, its machine was made in Great Britain, its navigation system was manufactured in Germany and its wings were built in Indonesia, and so on.

Despite being manufactured in many different countries, these parts were carefully designed, and the main facility would have no difficulty in assembling them.

These parts were manufactured under strict rules and careful measures. Thus why they can be integrated correctly and neatly. This analogy is important because the Indonesian leadership has frequently failed to synchronize or harmonize with the reality of its leadership.

Debate among the leaders on how to find solutions usually happens due to the absence of the leadership system. Today, the individual leadership system is no longer able to cope with the growing complexity of human problems.

The flood issue in Jakarta, for instance, is a perfect example. This problem cannot be tackled alone by the provincial government, which in this case, is represented by the governor of Jakarta.

This particular problem clearly indicates that local issues cannot be tackled only at local levels. We should invite other stakeholders as well. All local, national, regional, and even global stakeholders should cooperate in tackling the problem in a more integral way by seeing them as part of a whole system.

***

We should see the nation concept in this local-global approach.

Indonesia is an indispensable part of the world. Today, Information Technology is able to bridge the distance between locations on our planet, and even the universe.

If we ignore these global and universal relations, then we may never find a proper solution to our domestic problems. We should build the concept of our nation around this perspective. The lessons we have learned today is that no matter how big, rich, and vast our country, these factors alone can’t provide solutions to our people’s problem.

If money and capital can easily flow in and out of the country around the world, then the richness and the vastness of the country are unlikely to become a competitive capital for the nation’s development. Today, the real competitive capital is the quality of our human resource. We should measure the perception of nationalism among the leadership by this approach.

***

Indonesia is a large and near-perfect country. We have huge population, rich natural resources, and geo-politics as well geo-strategic advantages in international competition. However, we are still unable to use these advantages properly.

In fact, they have led Indonesia into the crisis. Corruption is the main cause of our crisis. Corruption is not necessarily limited to state financial, but also to discipline, time, oath of loyalty, determination, and many others.

These multiple forms of corruptions are all attributed to moral decadence. And moral decadence in our society, on the other hand, is attributed to imbalance and injustice in our daily lives. Today, injustice is widespread in our country, from wealth distribution to wealth utilization. Such injustices could cause huge problems.

Our future leadership in the new era of transparency, attributed to the amazing progress in information technology, demands a system that would assure implementation of justice. We must work to build such leadership in our country with moral and intellectual approaches, and the ability to master various skills required by the global leadership.

It is in this context that we should put sharing leadership first than individual leadership. A successful leader in the future will have to be more integrated in order to develop the people, empower them, foster dialogue among them, enhance their creativity, be capable of anticipating socio-cultural changes, be able to negotiate effectively, and be constructive for our national interest.

***

The world is moving fast. Widespread changes, attributed to technological advances, occur within a short period. Such changes will definitely have social and cultural impacts on the people. Thus, our future leadership should be dynamic and able to anticipate changes due to the impact of modern technology.

According to Tao philosophy, leadership should be flexible, yet strong like water. Human beings cannot prevent the dynamic changes of the world.

Thus, in facing a global challenge and a multi-dimensional crisis, a perceptive leadership should be in accordance with the global dynamic, and possess the right strategy to use such global dynamics for the national interest.

***

This article is taken from the speech of Mr. Juwono Sudarsono, Indonesian Minister of Defense, at a national seminar.

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