The twentieth century has witnessed remarkable changes in the field of politics, sports, science and technology. This ever changing landscape of the world has warranted great leaders to emerge and significantly alter the course of history. Such names include Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Bill Gates and Mother Teresa; all of which have had a profound impact on the global arena. However, where there has been great prosperity, there has also been great injustice, poverty and destruction. This has led to a new breed of leaders emerging in order to tackle such challenges.
Names like Mahatir Mohamad, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi, John. F. Kennedy and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto have surfaced in order to change the political landscape forever. This essay focuses on two of the greatest leaders that Pakistan has ever produced; Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. It starts off with several definitions of leadership and explanation of various leadership theories. Next it divulges into a brief background of both leaders and seeks to apply different leadership theories to their actions.
Finally, it concludes with an evaluation of the effectiveness of different leadership styles adopted by each leader and their significance in the pages of history. Leadership according to the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences is the “relation between an individual and a group built around some common interest and behaving in a manner directed or determined by him. ” In the same vein, Herbert G. Hicks and C. R. Gullett identified leadership as the ‘ability to influence the behavior of others in a particular direction. However there is no agreed definition of leadership and Philip Selznick states that Leadership ‘is a kind of work done to meet the needs of a social situation. ’ It is argued that the notion of leadership is different for all individuals as James McGregor Burns so eloquently puts it “Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth”. Political leadership however is different from leadership as per se and cannot be defined in entirety.
Political leadership is referred to as a specialized role in terms of both aspiration for and exercise of power through either governmental or non-governmental structures. Different scholars single out several elements to analyze political leadership. Thomas Carlyle pointed to the ‘heroic’ aspect of political leadership whereas Max Weber developed the term ‘Charisma’ to denote types of authority. However variables that appear constant in the analysis of political leadership include power, authority, legitimacy and compliance.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, also known as Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader) and Baba-i-Qaum (Father of the Nation), is accredited for almost single handedly creating the nation of Pakistan for the Muslims of the Sub Continent. Born in 1876 to a religious family, Jinnah went abroad for higher education. His academic excellence helped him land a place in London’s prestigious Lincoln’s Inn where he gained education to become a barrister. On completion he returned back to India to set up his own practice and joined the Indian National Congress at the age of thirty.
Soon he became to be known as an excellent orator and a prominent politician. However troubled by the creation and politics of the All Indian Muslim League which did not emphasize Hindu-Muslim unity, Jinnah went into political exile where he took time off to reflect back on the political situation in India. Soon he realized that Muslims should have a separate homeland and he returned back to make that dream come alive. After returning home, Jinnah took over the leadership of the All India Muslim League and passed the historic ‘Lahore Resolution’ where he put forth his demand for a separate homeland.
On 14th August 1947, after facing tough opposition from all quarters, Jinnah was able to create a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Sub Continent in the shape of Pakistan and fulfill his dream. He took over as the first Governor-General of Pakistan and sought to formulate new national policies for the young nation. However he could not serve his nation for a very long time and on 11th September 1948, Muhammad Ali Jinnah passed away due to a long term ailment of tuberculosis.
On the other hand, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, like Jinnah is remembered for several noteworthy accomplishments for the nation of Pakistan and its people. These include crafting the 1973 Constitution for democracy which was passed unanimously by the parliament, securing the release of 93,000 Prisoner of Wars from India and 5000 square miles of Indian held territory, developing the concept of Third World and initiating Pakistan’s nuclear program. In contrast to Jinnah, Bhutto was born with a golden spoon to a feudal family which provided the best possible academic education to him.
Being educated at premier institutions like Berkeley, Oxford and Lincolns Inn, Bhutto was regarded as one the greatest intellectuals of Pakistan at that time. Admired and respected by great leaders like George Bush senior, Henry Kissinger and Bertrand Russell, Bhutto was conferred the title of Quaid-e-Awam (Leader of the People). He joined politics and rose to prominence during President Ayub Khan’s tenure. After a fall out with his government, Bhutto formed his own party which later became the largest and most influential party in 1967 known as the ‘Pakistan People’s Party’ (PPP).
He became the President of Pakistan in December 1971 after East Pakistan separated from West Pakistan to become Bangladesh and continued serving until 1977 where after he was ousted from power by a military coup led by General Zia-ul-Haq who became President. Later Bhutto was arrested on the allegations of authorizing the murder of a political opponent and was subsequently hanged to death on 4th April 1979 after a controversial verdict by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Although, he was executed at a young age, his legacy has continued to live on till the present day.
Over the years, several leadership theories have evolved helping individuals to get a better understanding of the leadership approaches of different leaders. The theories listed chronologically include, the Trait Theory, Situational and Contingency Theory, Zeitgeist Leadership, Charismatic and Transformational leadership and finally the Post Transformational leadership theory. Although, these theories are listed chronologically, past or recent leadership theories may still be applicable to assess the leadership approach that both leaders in question have taken.
This essay seeks to apply various leadership theories to both leaders to understand their leadership orientations. The trait theory first introduced by Thomas Carlyle (1901) in his ‘Great Man Approach’, focused on personal traits of leaders to determine an individual’s potential for leadership roles. In this approach a person’s personality traits, cognitive skills, interpersonal skills (Furham, 2005) are assessed to evaluate his leadership potential. The whole concept of trait theory revolves around the idea that leadership skills are hereditary.
They are innate and a leader will always have an inclination towards his personal skills rather than the context. According to Ralph Stogdill (1974) intelligence, self-confidence, energy, stress tolerance and emotional stability were the key traits of being a leader. Jinnah exemplifies the trait theory of leadership as he possessed all the key traits identified by Stogdill of being a leader. He was a leader with remarkable intelligence and tolerance. Even after facing tough pposition from every corner, Jinnah was able to persevere in his task to create a separate homeland simply through his resilience, patience and stress tolerance. Characterized by charisma, self-confidence and great energy, Jinnah epitomized the statement “Leaders are born, not made. ” Even though he did not speak the language of his followers, dress up like they did or even share their type of lifestyle, Jinnah through his sheer determination and great personal traits was able to create a separate homeland.
He has drawn significant praise from World leaders and historians alike including the famous Stanley Wolpert. He writes: “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the World. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three. ” (Jinnah of Pakistan by Stanley Wolpert) Zulfiqar Bhutto on the other hand also shared many personality traits identified by Stogdill. His charisma, ambitiousness and tactfulness helped him to rise to prominence very quickly and he was able to reach great heights at an early age.
Being the youngest cabinet minister of President Ayub Khan’s government, youngest delegate of Pakistan to the United Nations of his time and the youngest elected chief of state, Bhutto showed immense interpersonal and cognitive skills. He epitomized the trait of self-confidence. An example of which was reflected in his conversation with the president of USA John . F. Kennedy whereby Kennedy praised Bhutto’s leadership and remarked “If you were an American, you would be in my cabinet. ” To the utter surprise of Kennedy however, Bhutto replied “Be careful Mr. President, if I were American, I would be in your place! However, one trait of Bhutto that hindered his leadership’s effectiveness was the absence of patience and emotional stability. He was a man regarded for strong likes and dislikes. Known for his passionate and fiery speeches, Bhutto often surprised everyone with his strong opinions including the time when he tore up his speech at the UN Security Council meeting and walked out. This ‘extreme’ trait of his generated praises as well as condemnation from world leaders and it was highly unsurprising that he was the subject of many controversies during his life.
Next up, we use the situational leadership to gauge whether both leaders had the ability to alter their leadership behavior according to different situations. Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory (1984) claims that an effective leader adapts his or her leadership style to subordinates’ capacity to accomplish tasks (Langton & Robbins, 2007). According to this theory both persons were effective leaders because they could alter their leadership orientations to suit different situations.
In other words, both had enough contextual intelligence to decide when to use hard and soft power. Whenever the situation demanded, they would take autocratic decisions and whenever they had to lift the spirits of a demoralized nation, they would use soft power where their role was limited to being a motivator and an organizer. An example of this was seen in Jinnah’s speech where he tried to lift the spirits of a deflated and demoralized Sub Continent population under the ‘British Raj’ (British Rule): "My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence.
Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation. " We now turn our attention to the Contingency approach to analyze the decision making ability of both leaders. The Cognitive resources theory of Fiedler suggests that intelligence, stress and experience are the key factors that influence leadership success and decision making effectiveness. Jinnah with his vast political and legal experience was known for an uncompromising stance on his principles.
Even after being offered to become Prime Minister or President of Undivided India, Jinnah did not compromise on his stance for a separate homeland showing that he was a strong willed and courageous statesman. In his own words, Jinnah had these views on decision making: "Think 100 times before you take a decision, but once that decision is taken, stand by it as one man. " Although, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, like Jinnah had vast political and legal experience, he would take some decisions which according to some scholars were too hasty or irrational.
This showed that his personality traits played a significant part in his decision making ability. His feudal lineage interfered with his cognitive skills and he was at times not able to take the best decisions. New leadership theories like Transactional and Transformational leaders have also been very useful for evaluating leadership styles. Essentially, Transactional Leadership is distinct from Transformational Leadership in its use of a reward system (Ashkanasy & Tse, 2000). Hollander’s transactional leadership emphasizes that leadership is the result of a complex set of interactions between the leader, the followers and the situation.
It is based on the concept of reward and punishment to motivate people. However, Transformational leader addresses the ‘leader-follower-situation’ interaction whereby the leader engages the follower in order to raise their vision, values, morality and motivation by using social and spiritual values. Both theories are different but they be maybe used by the same leader for different situations at different times (Yukl, 1998). Jinnah through his vision in his ‘two-nation theory’ demanded a separate nation for the empowerment of the masses.
This helped him to drive the masses towards a common goal and raise their motivational levels. His message of unity, faith and discipline help instill great moral and ethical values in the people. He remarked: "With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve". (Quaid's address to the officers and men of the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th Light Ack Ack Regiments in Malir , on 21st February, 1948) He was in all respects a transformational leader who despite grave socio-political circumstances was able to command the respect and trust of the masses.
Although, most of his speeches were in English, a language which hardly anyone could understand, people would turn up in mass numbers to support him just because they believed in his determination, dedication and sincerity. This was also evident in the 1947 partition when millions of Muslims heeded to Jinnah’s call and crossed the border despite great hardships and fear. Similarly, Zufliqar Ali Bhutto was also a transformational leader. He inherited a country whose institutions were in total disarray. Its people were lost and demoralized.
Its army had just suffered an appalling and humiliating defeat and 93000 Pakistani Soldiers were languishing in Indian jails. Yet, Bhutto’s commitment and the love for his motherland compelled him to take reigns of a country in tatters. He inspired the population and raised their spirits through his message of hope. In his first speech after taking over, he had this motivating message: “My dear countrymen, my dear friends, my dear students, labourers, peasants…those who fought for Pakistan…I have come in at a very late hour, at a decisive moment in the history of Pakistan.
We are facing the worst crisis in our country’s life, a deadly crisis. We have to pick up the pieces, very small pieces, but we will make a new Pakistan, a prosperous and progressive Pakistan, a Pakistan free of exploitation, a Pakistan envisaged by the Quaid-e-Azam. This is my faith. I will do my best”. Bhutto can be characterized as a reformer who wanted to change the political culture in Pakistan. He sought to raise the morals and values of the nation and give back pride, dignity and basic rights to its people.
For this purpose, he drew up a new constitution (1973) which guaranteed fundamental rights to every citizen of the country and liberated them from their dreary past. Not only did he want to change the mindset of his own people, but Bhutto also wanted to change the political thinking of the Muslim countries against the West which he thought were exploiting them politically, economically and socially. For this purpose he stressed on unity of the Muslim nations and organized the first ever conference of the Organization for Islamic Countries (OIC) in Lahore.
Soon he brought about a revolution in the Muslim World and became its spokesman. Linked closely to the theory of transformational leaders is the concept of charismatic leader. ‘Charisma is an effulgence of personal qualities, innate, or at any rate not capable of being acquired by study’ (Bryman, 1992). According to Bryman it is a trait that a person may or may not have. Certain personal, physical and psychological factors have been identified by academics to outline what constitutes a charismatic leader.
These physical and personal factors include striking quality of the eyes, a handsome appearance, voice and powerful and spellbinding oratory (Wither, 1984; Lindholm, 1990; Bryman, 1992). Similarly psychological factors include high energy and self-confidence, dominance and a strong need for power, and a strong conviction in their own beliefs and ideals (House, 1977; House, Woyke & Fodor, 1988; House & Howell, 1992). Charismatic leaders have come to dominate political proceedings in the Third World and both of these leaders did no different. Jinnah and Bhutto both exemplified charismatic leadership.
Jinnah was a dynamic leader who became the voice of millions of oppressed and dispersed Muslims. His oratory, clear cut thinking and dashing personality was admired by the whole nation especially the youth. Not only as a politician, but even as a lawyer, Jinnah would use his charisma to enthrall the audience and this led to people crowding the courtrooms just to hear him speak. With a strong conviction in his own principles and vision, Jinnah earned Charismatic authority which according to Weber is when the leader’s personality inspires the loyalty and obedience of his followers.
On the other hand, Bhutto was progressive in his ideas, persuasive in their advocacy and persistent in their implementation. He was a man capable of great energy and self-confidence. His oratory skills helped him gather the support of millions of Pakistani’s and soon he became the voice of Pakistan and the entire Muslim World. Bhutto’s spirited speeches especially in the UN where he challenged to fight India for a thousand years and his reaction to the Tashkent agreement won him the admiration of many of his followers.
His intelligence and commitment to Pakistan has warranted many historians and politicians to label him as the most charismatic leader of South Asia. Next we employ two theories that go hand in hand to evaluate the leadership qualities of Jinnah and Bhutto. These are authentic and ethical leadership. Bob Terry states that “authenticity is knowing, and acting on, what is true and real inside yourself. Authentic leadership is about translating words into actions and values into vision. Jinnah fits the definition of authentic leadership very well.
He was a man of principles and never preferred government ministries over his political agenda. Jinnah always advocated for religious tolerance, freedom and equality and he never went against his word in this regard even after assuming power. He was also an ethical leader as power never corrupted him and he never used illegitimate or violent means to achieve his motives. Likewise, Bhutto’s commitment and love for the country cannot be questioned. However, from an ethical standpoint, Bhutto sometimes compromised on his principles which led to great criticism.
It is well established that he was a staunch supporter of democracy and people power, yet when offered the chance to grab power by the Army in the 1971 elections, Bhutto did not hesitate even though the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman had won majority seats in Pakistan and wanted to form the government. He was labeled as an autocratic leader by his critics and sometimes he was referred to as ‘Adolf Bhutto’ and ‘Modern Machiavelli’ Bhutto believed that nobody else could save Pakistan except him. He remarked: “I believe that I am among the few who have the capability and connection to hold this country together and make it march o progress and glory” Jinnah’s true worth was only realized after his death in 1948 when Pakistan fell into disarray. It is widely believed that if Jinnah’s servant leadership had existed for a few more years, Pakistan would have prospered with his vision for structural growth of institutions. One cannot help but draw comparisons with India, Pakistan’s neighbours, who post-independence have achieved remarkable growth. Scholars believe that Jinnah’s early death was one of the key reasons why Pakistan failed to match India’s progress.
Nonetheless, Jinnah’s vision, principles, altruism, and charisma helped Pakistan to be born in the first place. He was a transformational and a charismatic leader in essence and his unique traits have earned him a place in the pages of history as one of the greatest leaders of all time. Likewise, Bhutto’s death was met with great shock and grief. Die hard Bhutto supporters set themselves on fire to protest against his execution. Never in the history of Pakistan, had people witnessed such a fearless, dauntless and charismatic leader after Jinnah.
Stanley Wolpert in his book had this to say about Bhutto: “Millions of Pakistanis still hail Zulfi Bhutto as their Quaid-e-Awam (Leader of the People) even as they do Muhammad Ali Jinnah as Pakistan’s Quaid-I-Azam (Great Leader). ” His contributions were immense to a nation which was reduced to half its size after East Pakistan was taken away from it to form Bangladesh. He gave the deflated nation a sense of direction and a message of hope. He gave the masses a voice which later on became the voice of the whole Muslim world. Although Pakistan became a nuclear state in 1998, it was Bhutto who had provided the vision for it two decades ago.
He cemented his legacy by giving the biggest gift to the nation; the 1973 Constitution which safeguarded the rights of every citizen of Pakistan. His charming flamboyance made him one of the most popular leaders and although he was controversial, Bhutto will always be remembered as a dynamic, dedicated and devout leader. Leaders are often remembered for ability, nature, style and vision. Yet Jinnah and Bhutto will perhaps be remembered for reasons strictly associated to Pakistan: Jinnah gave it birth while Bhutto taught it how to walk.
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