Values, vision, proposals and networks: using ideas in leadership for human development: the approach of Mahbub ul Haq
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Leadership is a matter that social scientists often are ambivalent about, but is important in knife-edge situations and when people choose direction within wide-open possibilities. Good leaders need contexts that stimulate and discipline them, good followers/ collaborators, and ability to use good luck. The paper explores the work of Mahbub ul Haq, in relation to some ideas about factors that affect initiatives for social justice through new ideas: a) lessons he learnt from the failure of his Basic Needs work at the World Bank (concerning lack of institutional protection; lack of a comprehensive vision; lack of a bridge to the mainstreams of economic policy and development policy); b) his operation as a wordsmith, providing appealing labels for big ideas, including an accessible value basis; c) his exemplification of two fundamental reorientations: joined-up thinking, analysis not restricted within the boxes of national economies; and joined-up feeling, global sympathy, concern and commitment; and d) a series of concrete, visionary proposals (like the Human Development indices, the 20/20 principle and the MDGs), which converted old talk about progressive realization of economic and social rights into practical agendas and tools to try to keep leaders accountable.
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