It is worth subscribing to Poverty Cure’s Youtube channel, whose aim is to encourage solutions to poverty “that foster opportunity and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that already fills the developing world.”
Their latest video describes what corruption does to a nation. Lydie Hakizimana of Rwanda, who is being interviewed in the video, points out that “When there is corruption in a country…there is no hope. People don’t see themselves successful in the long-term.” “With hope you can think of a better future,” but when the leaders are corrupt, the entrepreneurial environment is killed and replaced with an environment of fear.
This caught my interest because in describing the effects of corruption, she has just described the exact opposite of leadership. As I’ve blogged before, the essence of leadership is precisely to give hope and “rally people to a better future.” In contrast, as Lydie points out, extreme corruption in a nation takes away hope, and causes people to cease believing that they can have a better future.
That is the exact opposite of leadership. What a tragedy it is when those entrusted with the responsibility to lead — to give hope and rally people to a better future — turn that responsibility on its head by turning it into an opportunity to enrich and advance themselves at others’ expense. Whenever someone does that, no matter what their title is, they have ceased to be a leader.
Here’s the video. And for more on Poverty Cure, see their website.