The relationship of a horse and its rider, is such that the horse is under the direction [leadership] of the horse rider; effectively its master. The horse’s life and livelihood is dependent on, and at the mercy of its master.
When and if the horse strays off and goes into a wrong direction, particularly during a ride, then it’s the fault, therefore failure of the horse rider; and not of the horse. When and if the horse runs into a wall (an object) sending the horse rider flying down on the ground with a bang, possibly into a concussion and/or sustaining a broken back; it’s not and cannot be the fault (failure) of the horse. But it’s squarely the fault (failure) of its rider. That’s leadership (and management) failure in brief.
But the horse rider has the privilege, the prerogative and power to blame the horse for his/her failure. That’s what power does; that’s the privilege of power.
Remove the ability to impose, out of power; and you castrate power.
Power gives almost unlimited options. When you’ve power, you can make vice into virtue and virtue into vice. Power without the ability to impose one’s will or the unwanted and have it stick and prevail in the face of formidable resistance is no power. It’s power in name or on some fancy paper signed; but realistically the teeth to bite have been knocked out and left with the muscle and the tongue to massage, that is, persuade.
But if the horse rider whips the horse into the right direction, and keeps the horse away from running into a wall; is that punishment or leadership (management)? It depends; on whether the whip is part of the necessary tools in the system of horse [leadership] management.
If the horse rider feeds the horse, is it (not) reward, incentivisation and/or the horse rider’s obligation to serve and meet the needs of the horse, so the horse is fit for purpose? So the horse can serve its rider well? Or is it (not) corruption?
There’s a thin line between reward, incentivisation and corruption. But power is the best arbiter. Power is, ultimately, the arbiter of truth and falsehood, of wrong and right, especially if power defines and determines the boundaries of operation.
The relationship between the leader and the led, specifically in Africa irrespective of the claims of democracy, although this is not limited to Africa, is very clear. It’s that of the master and servant. In some cases (and places), it’s typical of that of the horse and its rider.
The concept of “Public Servant” in Africa
The concept of “Public Servant” in Africa is inverted. It’s pure Orwellian speak. The supposedly “Public Servant” in Africa is, in reality, the “Master”; and therefore the served by (members of) the public. It’s the public that bows, in honour, to the “Public Servant” who has and wields extraordinary power, in most cases (and places) with impunity. The “Public Servant” has the authority of a feudal lord over the public which allows them to indulge in mischief against public interests. The public is terrified of the “Public Servant”, of his/her feudal lord authority. The public, therefore and rightly, feels as if it’s under the “tyranny of the Public Servant“.
We live in a world with massive disparity in power.
Those with power can certainly make positive changes as individuals; but a lot needs to change to curb on power abuses. Behind every facade of power lies untold (and/or unspoken about) mischief that causes deep pain and sorrow. That deep pain and sorrow need to be told; but it requires power and the consciousness of a liberated mind; without which, that deep pain and sorrow, will keep eating away on the soul, and eventually kill the soul.