Archive for January 13, 2009

Teacher-Leaders = “Initiative People”

Napolean is quoted as saying: “There are two levers for moving men: Interest or Fear.”  I believe some people in our university are regrettably using the latter rather than the former.  Napolean was also known to have said:  “He who possesses information rules the world.” That is what our university business should be all about, to possess and access information in order to help move the country of Kazakhstan ahead to be one of the top 50 countries in the world in the next decade. 


One Central Asian student recently wrote, “I have seen many leaders throughout my life till today – most of them still use the old fashioned style of leading – threatening – they probably understand the word “leadership” only as a position or a power over a group of dependent people.  They should never use threat or other bossy actions even though they have inherited their position from their fathers.”  Another student from the same country pointed out “Good leaders should obey their own rules.”


Many examples of bad leaders abound and consequently countries or universities suffer because of this sad fact.  I respect what President John Quincy Adams wrote about leaders:  “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  Another positive example is from H.J. Seymour:  “Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step with the present, and keep the promise to posterity.”


In my case as a teacher in this Central Asian university, I want to be known as a candle – a teacher who burnt her life in order to give light to other people.  I’m glad there are fellow teachers who also share my view of being a teacher-leader in their classrooms.  However, there are teachers and administrators who lurk about using fear and intimidation to coerce people into action.


May we have more “Initiative People” or good leaders at our university in Kazakhstan.  I wish it GREAT success for the sake of the future of the country.  Two more quotes from famous men:  “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”  Sir Winston Churchill  “If you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right.”  Henry Ford 

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