A true leader is not the mouthpiece of the majority but their navigator. Whether he sounds convincing or not also depends on the sum-total intellect or ignorance of the masses. Yet, leaders have to find ways to convince masses and engage them constructively on the right track. Celebrities are the icons of a society. People follow them. They too must be cautious in public demeanours. A true leader is the one whose consciousness is high enough to include all segments of the society, where his heart beats for them all, not selectively for his people alone. His actions build his credibility, and intentions should be visible in actions rather than declamatory speeches. Intellect in satwa contributes to his selfless intentions and magnanimous attitude. Political leaders are often egoistic, take revenge from opponents and resort to abuse of powers and malfeasance. Such revengeful attitude does not suit good leaders.
Introspect and elevate one's soul (realize true Purusha within). Do not let it descend (into mean activities, especially at the cost of others) and earn disgrace. One's soul (the inner voice of spirit) could be one's brother as well as enemy both.
Be good, be grand, be inclusive of all. Do not let your soul down out of ego, attachments and greed of any kind. Be objective towards the human cause and not subjective to friends and relatives.
Vedas described this material world inflicted of three qualities of nature, O Arjun! Without any dilemma, establish in satwa at once and free yourself of those ills.
Freedom from Triguna connotes to understanding of ineluctable nature of satwa, rajas and tamas. Freedom from delusions comes from practicing Satwa. A leader is responsible to the country at large and must give up all personal favours to kith and kin, sponsors and parties. His objectives should be grand and utilitarian, as his duty calls for him to work at the highest ethical hierarchy, where entire nation is dependent on him. Contradicting ethical hierarchies cause delusion in the mind. A good leader should understand five-factor theory of actions (i.e. ethical hierarchies, the doer soul, knowledge, procedures, intentions and the uncontrollable luck) and introspect at every stage. Thus, he can get rid of all ethical dilemmas. In the end, actions speak not words.
Equitable to foes and friends, equable in honour and dishonour, insensitive to cold and heat, pleasure and pain, ever self-controlled and free from all kinds of obsessions (desires). Such should be a leader.
Everyone is equal. Poor and elite are alike. Bias and partisan are found in societies and organizations. Such class discriminations are not justified unless objectively associated (like merchant banking society, workers association etc.). Often, there is political misuse of even these associations. Shloke prescribes that a good leader should stay equal to all and take foes and friends alike. Be good, grand and inclusive of all.
Unperturbed to condemnation and praise, ever quiet and content, homeless (owing no homes), firm headed (intellectually convinced) – such devotees are dear to Me.
A leader should be open for criticism and accept or reject it logically and honestly. The role of opposition is not to oppose the ruling party all the time, but correct them as they err, balance them as they go skewed, by providing constructive opinions and alternatives. Leaders should be Sthitpragya, individuals with extremely High emotional quotient (EQ), undisturbed by vicissitudes, remain firm and calm to praise and critics alike, remains equal to friends and foes alike, and remain objective in deeds. This is the definition of Sthitpragya as well, see 2.55–2.60.
Hence, scriptures recommend following qualities for a true leader:
Satwik in thinking and planning. Good, grand and inclusive of all.
Rajasik in administration, execution and implementation.
Seek Brahmanic advise (not crony capitalists selfish advisory). Pundits of specific knowledge, skill and arts should be consulted contextually. How countrymen will be affected should be the prime question.
Not succumbing to undue pressures. Be firm and objectively oriented. Carve out policies based on long-term and holistic development.
Introspect and elevate one's soul. Not to descend into meanness, delinquencies, greed, partisan and malfeasance make personal profits or to thrash opponents. Let the public facilities like Central Bureau of Investigation, Police, Income tax department and Lieutenant Governor work for the country not for the ruling party. Seeking benefit by harming others is tamas not rajas.
Be rajasik and establish win-win situation with opponents within Dharma-led boundaries.
Free from the nature's tamas-led delusions. Practice qualities of Satwa, and stay committed to truth, facts, honesty, knowledge and collective consciousness.
Free oneself from the thoughts of any subjective gains, favours and fears. Donation in lieu of unethical favours is tamasik. Often after elections, parties approve the projects related to their sponsors in the first 100 days and then the process slows down thereafter for next five years.. Projects should be based on techno-social propositions.
Should be equitable to foes and friends. Stay equal to various groups and possibly integrate them as needed.
Employ the team right. Let a complementary team deliver holistic solutions.
Do not unsettle the simple-minded ones but engage them constructively.
Be tolerant, patient and respectful to critics. Stay unperturbed to condemnation and praise. Accept the mistakes and appreciate opponents' good work.
Equable in honour and dishonour. Treat all constituencies alike, not favouring those where leaders win and disfavour those where leaders lose.
Be self-controlled and free from all kinds of obsessions and desires. Be selfless, give to the nation and not take from it. Work for the people and its culture. Expect no gains and ownership. Be quiet yet effective.
Think and chose right strategies: Stepwise growth plans or leapfrog strategies, select whichever fits better.
Communicate to People, develop trust. Keep all eyes and ears open 24x7 with good information network.
Be Sthitpragya, Yogi and sanyasi. Strive for the best service to the nation, without any aspirations.
Follow five-factor theory of actions to improve decision making without dilemma and preferential favours .
A leader should be a spiritual being. Spirituality can be used to unite humans in collective consciousness. Poor leaders divide the society in the name of caste and religion, myopically exploiting the ignorance of the masses for quick benefits. People should recognize this and choose leaders accordingly.
Last, but the most important: For a good leader, it is not necessary to win elections, but to show the right direction to the fellow countrymen, selflessly. Ignorant society may not recognize the contribution of leader in the beginning, but as the truth prevails, leader establishes direction the nation needs. Sooner or later country would follow the same. This may or may not be during leader's lifetime.