Egypt uprising, a case of leadership without management

The Arab Spring, brought on by people-led demand for change in their governments, could, given unmet conditions, traipse into the Arab Winter of Discontent.  The Egypt uprising in particular.  New York Times reported that Egypt’s interim government, the military, is forestalling its promises and that loyalists of Mubarak’s administration are embedded deep in the interim government, so how could real change happen?

In a previous post, To school after 16 years, I mentioned that in my management class my view was sought about whether leadership could exist without management and management without leadership.  The professor, after me, said that leadership should exist in management, this two together always, otherwise management without leadership or leadership without management equals chaos.  He proffered the Egypt uprising as an example, it being a case of leadership lacking in management.  He said that leadership is motivating and rallying others around an objective for which the Egyptian leaders did and well, but having achieved their objective the masses found themselves without a manager, someone who will move the objective further through systematic means.  Hence even with a successful revolution, Egyptians find themselves back to square one.

Following this line of thought, the successful model of leadership in management would then be South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement led by Mandela, working in and through the African National Congress.  We know that the draft proposal for an alternative government was drawn up within  African National Congress which gave birth to and managed the anti-apartheid movement.

Egypt should have learned from South Africa’s experience.  But then again planning the movement around that learning is a management function.


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