The Mark of a Leader

What makes a good leader? Are leaders born or made?

I get asked these questions often.

My reply is, “Everyone has the potential to be a leader.”

There are many opportunities to lead. It’s all about taking responsibility.

These opportunities are not only found at work, but also at home. As a spouse, we lead our significant other. As parents, we lead our children. If you’re a stay-at-home mother, your children look to you for guidance. You would also be responsible for leading your domestic helper.

The question really to ponder is, “Are you taking on the responsibility to lead?”

To be a good leader, there are two things you need to know and understand.

1.      Know your end destination

The first rule of leadership is to know where you’re heading, and ensure that is the right path. The right path would be the path of goodness, morality, kindness and compassion. A good leader would not lead people to danger.

2.     Walk the talk

Secondly, good leaders practise what they preach. For example, we would advise our children not to pick up smoking because we know it’s harmful. For them to take us seriously, we shouldn’t be smokers ourselves.

True leaders don’t contradict themselves. People choose to follow a leader if they trust and believe in that person’s mission.

A modern example of a common leader is Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. He has always espoused the importance of hard work and passion in achieving success. Gates is one of the richest men in the world but has donated a significant amount of his wealth to charitable causes. Who can forget his pledge to donate all of his fortune to charity? His passion in contributing positively to the world led him to start the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the world’s largest private foundation.

“If you want to become a leader that people admire and respect, you must become a person of significance. People don’t follow you because you take from them; they follow you because you give to them,” he says.

His passion in giving back to society compels people to respect his leadership.

Let’s ask ourselves if we are that kind of leader. Would we want to follow our own leadership? If the honest answer is no, let’s change that. If we do not have faith in ourselves as leaders, others would find it hard to have faith in us.

Leadership is about doing what needs to be done. Responsibility comes when you truly care about something. That sense of ownership and responsibility is the mark of a true leader.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director
QI Group


19 thoughts on “The Mark of a Leader

  1. Thanks again for another “gem” Mr. Bismark. A good leader pursues the path of kindness, goodness, morality and compassion. As a parent with a full-time job, it’s important to make the most out of the time I have with them. I can’t lead if I just say “sure, play PS3 or watch tv”

    • “Responsibility comes when you truly care about something.” Jappa u are the best .. thanks a ton for giving me the clarity in what i need to do..

  2. Pingback: Read GMD Joseph Bismark’s latest blog post “The Mark of a Leader” | The Vine

  3. That’s a good one Japa! Was writing up my mouna and finding my answers today on leading a team without failure and you’ve given the answer and it’s soo simple! ‘Responsibility comes when you truly care about something’ How true!

  4. Very simple but still powerful examples to make me understand what the leadership is all about. Thanks Mr.Bismark

  5. Mr. Bismark,
    I’ve been reading your blogs and they are very interesting, but I’m pondering a question for long time now and that is:
    If we have to look for our spirit souls and leave the materialistic world, and also try to achieve goals like meeting targets on time…why do we work? Instead, everyday we can just get up and look for our spiritual self, why do we go and work? How do we achieve that spirit soul? Does knowledge, working hard in this world help us achieve? Are they related?
    I would be grateful if I get an answer from you. Thank you for “enlightening” me.

    • Hello Pallavi,

      Thank you for your insightful question. Let me think about it and I’ll come back to you soon with a reply.


    • Dear Pallavi,

      I wish that this letter reach you in the best of health and spirits. In answer to your questions,

      We are spirit soul or Atma and not the physical body, so it’s not a question of looking but coming to the point of Self-Realisation. Who Am I? Without knowing the answer to this question we are similar to an insane person who does not know his/her identity – like a person suffering from amnesia.

      What would be your goals if they are based upon a false identity? False identity means false goals. It’s important to first understand, ” I am spirit soul” and not the material body or the multitude of labels attached to the body, like name, age, religion, race, sex and nationality, etc.

      To have a body and to be in the material world means we have to work, we have to maintain our bodies, take care of responsibilities etc.

      However, doing all of this under the illusion that you are the material body is false and will not bring real happiness for the soul who is spirit in nature and can only be happy by spirituality.

      Feeding the needs of the body alone does not feed the needs of the soul who is eternal. You, the soul, person, the I, remains always unhappy because your needs are not being satisfied in the material world.

      Work, we must. As long as we have a body, we have to work. But working only for the needs of the body is like walking on one leg. You must learn to walk using the other leg too. Your spirituality is similar. By walking on two legs, you are both material and spiritual. This is the balance that we need to be happy. Material emancipation will never be enough. You need to engage in spiritual emancipation as well.

      The beginning or real knowledge is understanding Who am I? Who is God? Where am I going after death? Why am I suffering? How do I stop the cycle of birth, disease, old age and death?, and many more questions that we are all avoiding to seek an answer. What is the Absolute Truth?

      Real Knowledge is having answers to all of these questions above.

      The spirit soul is like a fish out of the water in the material world. The only happiness for the soul is to be associated back to spirituality the water…..where he belongs. This you can do even while in the temporary material world.

      I hope that I have answered even a little bit of your very humanly intelligent questions?


  6. Dear Mr Bismark, sorry I dont mean to steal the thunder from you but just wanted to give my perspective to Pallavi. I hope you don’t mind.

    Hello Pallavi,
    I’ve been involved with Prani healing from last one year and as you go higher up in the courses this is exactly what you learn.
    In fact being involved with spirit / sould (in short spirituality) is not about leaving the world, family, material dreams etc..

    Its about being aware of the purpose of you being in the world. Its about you knowing that you part of the Higher soul and you are using body as a vehicle to acomplish various things in the world. Being materialistic is great, earning a lot of wealth is important and responsibility because the more you earn the more you give back, provided you do give back to the society 🙂
    In Pranic healing terminology, this is called Tithing (Service) where you give back at least 10% of your over all income for various purposes.
    But trust me spirituality is beautiful subject, its a practice, its a way of living, its about prioritising things and esuring those are done. It is about decipline.
    I can go on and on and on… but let me stop here.

    Dear Mr. Bismark, We will be happy to hear your opinion on this.

    Amit Deshpande

    • Thank you, Amit. Of course I don’t mind you answering Palavi. This blog is for all of us to share our thoughts. I have provided my answer below.

  7. Pingback: QNET Hot Discussion: Are Leaders Born or Made?

  8. Pingback: QNET Hot Discussion: Are Leaders Born or Made? | Qbuzz

  9. Hello again Mr. Bismarck and Mr. Deshpande!

    Firstly, thank you for your responses, I am glad I came back to read it.

    I can understand everything you’ve explained. Let me tell you why I asked. I asked because I consider myself to be a very lazy person. I also lack confidence. I have a hard time getting my work finished. That’s the reason why I would always be ready to plunge into a spiritual world, and not want to be in a materialistic world – working.

    But, basically, you are telling me that work is a part of life, whether we speak materialistically, or spiritually. We are living in this world to accomplish things, true happiness can only be found by getting answers to the Absolute Truth. So, we need both the world and the spiritual life.

    Maybe that’s the reason why Buddha was enlightened – because he lived in this world as well as in a spiritual world. He had duties to finish in the world too.

    Oh when will I ever be truly happy? Just kidding 😉

    Thank you so much!

  10. Dear Joseph Bismark,

    I thank God that I happened to log in to your network or website. Your insights or wisdom in life really taught me new and wonderful truths about life.
    My name is Doreen Pinz, from tiny & remote Temotu Province of the Solomon Islands.
    I got your website address from Mr. Norman Bade.
    I will always log in your website cos I will learn more of your hidden wisdom.

    God bless you

    Doreen Pinz
    Solomon Islands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *