By The Cowley News Team at

Over the years we have seen many people call themselves leaders, from James Warren Jones, an American religious cult leader who initiated and was responsible for a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana. He considered Jesus Christ as being in compliance with an overarching belief in Socialism as the correct social order.

To David Koresh from Mount Carmel USA , David Icke from England, or any other person that gives themselves the title of ‘leader’ as a way of controlling others; whether for religious reasons, military reasons, their local community, or just because they like the idea of starting their own war, such as militia groups.

The more I go to community meetings and hear people declare themselves as the new Messiah, community activists or leaders, I often wonder if they just happen to be the person with the biggest mouth or loudest voice.

It might not be their fault; maybe other people within the community have chosen to give them a false platform founded on silence from other members in the group. However silence cannot be seen as agreement or acceptance.

Is one of the reasons for this role of leadership due to people’s apathy and that they are prepared to let other people think for them?

We used to say that to bring up a child was the responsibility of the village or the community, but more and more we seem to be accepting that anybody that gives a damn can do as they like; Start a new religion or cult or anything in between.

We understand that part of the difficulty is identifying true leaders. When Martin Luther King and Malcolm X died, people weren’t sure who should be the new leaders, and therefore we are susceptible to false prophets.

We need to ensure that not one person is in control of the group whatever the purpose of group may be. True visionaries should be looking to act collectively for the benefit of everyone in the group, if the group operates as a collective it will always be sustainable no matter who leaves or joins and still achieve its true objectives.

I was reading an article the other day about leadership and it asked 40 questions, a genuine leader should be able to answer at least 20 of them. We don’t have the space to include them in this article however a good start would be to ask which group they lead and how the group has developed under their leadership.