Pohon Kepemimpinan

Kolom

CHARACTER trumps brains – or at least formal education,” demikian kata Waller R. Newell dalam bukunya “The Soul of A Leader: Character, Conviction and Ten Lessons in Political Greatness”. Menurut dia, meski proses politik berubah cepat, namun karakter tetap diperhitungkan sebagai hal penting. Meski uang menjadi parameter global, dan teknologi informasi menjadi senjata yang berlaku di mana-mana, namun kebanyakan orang masih mengalkulasi mereka yang mengejar kekuasaan dengan pertanyaan-pertanyaan: Kandidat mana yang jujur? Siapa kandidat yang benar-benar berani, atau sekedar semberono? Siapa yang dinilai layak menjadi pemimpin karena kearifannya dalam membuat keputusan?

Untuk menyelisik rahasia kepemimpinan hebat, Newell meneliti biografi para presiden Amerika yang dinilai berhasil, dan namanya tetap harum hingga kini. Sepuluh poin ia sebut sebagai rahasia kepemimpinan, kunci terpenting ada pada karakter. Winston Churchill atau Abraham Lincoln tidak menamatkan pendidikan formal tingkat universitas, namun warisan kepemimpinan mereka tetap diakui hingga kini. Meski ada beberapa presiden Amerika yang dianggap intelek, Newell mencontohkan Woodrow Wilson, namun kemunculan mereka tidak menghapus fakta bahwa seorang pemimpin dengan pendidikan formal yang minimal dapat menjadi seorang negarawan sejati.

Dalam kolom saya terdahulu, Ibnu Bathuthah mencontohkan sosok Khashib, seorang penjaga kamar mandi, yang tidak mengenyam pendidikan tinggi, namun mampu menjadi gubernur Mesir yang dikagumi. Kekaguman warga Mesir terhadap gubernurnya kala itu muncul karena kesantunan, kedermawanan, dan pemihakan Gubernur Khashib yang nyata terhadap orang-orang tidak beruntung.

Para keluarga “trah menak” sejati, menempatkan pendidikan karakter sebagai hal mendasar. Seperti dicontohkan Wirautama, membentuk karakter yang baik menjadi fondasi yang ditanam pertama kali dalam bangunan cita-cita politis sang anak. Mengetahui anaknya ingin menjadi bupati (saat itu demang), Wirautama bukan hanya mengajari anaknya (Yogaswara) baca tulis, tetapi segera memasukannya ke Pesantren Jenggala. Seperti dapat dibaca dalam novel politik “Tjarita Mantri Djero” (R. Memed Sastrahadiprawira, terbit 1928), alasan utama Wirautama mengirim anaknya ke pesantren tiada lain untuk memberi dasar-dasar keyakinan agama, sebagai alat untuk mengendalikan hawa nafsu, sebab umumnya penguasa suka lupa diri dan tak mau kalah.

Dalam berbagai riset mutakhir pun terungkap, pemimpin berkarakter baik lebih sukses mencetak staf yang baik dan berkontribusi maksimal bagi pencapaian misi organisasinya. Hasil sebaliknya dialami pemimpin berkarakter buruk. Pemimpin yang senang menghujat hanya melahirkan staf yang inferior, dan pemimpin yang menganggap stafnya bodoh hanya menemukan karyawan yang benar-benar tidak mengerti arah yang akan dituju organisasinya.

Tidak berlebihan bila saya menyebut karakter sebagai pohon kepemimpinan. Pohon ini berakar pada nilai-nilai agama, dan memiliki tiga dahan, masing-masing kepemimpinan, kemampuan manajerial, dan keterampilan komunikatif. Karakter bukan sekadar klaim, atau strategi manipulatif saat kampanye, melainkan kemampuan unjuk kerja yang teramati lewat gaya kepemimpinan yang dipraktikan, kemampuan mengelola pemerintahan, dan kemampuannya dalam memimpin rapat, menerima keluhan warga, menangkis tuduhan miring, permintaan maaf dan perilaku sesudahnya, serta tindakan komunikatif lainnya.

Karena berakar pada agama yang diimaninya, maka pertimbangan baik-buruk dan hitam-putihnya tindakan seorang pemimpin, pasti dilandasi (sekurang-kurangnya dipengaruhi) keyakinan dan kualitas keimanan terhadap agamanya. Anggapan ini bukan ungkapan sektarian, tetapi kesadaran realistik karena semua agama mengajarkan keseluruhan ruang hidup adalah wujud peribadatan.

Masalahnya, bagaimana kita harus memilih pemimpin ketika dramaturgi dibenarkan dan kepura-puraan dibungkus dengan strategi pencitraan yang nyaris sempurna? Terlepas dari strategi manipulatif yang dianggap jamak, bukankah mencari politisi yang baik ibarat mencari setitik air bening pada sebidang kolam keruh?

In politics, stupidity is not a handicap,” demikian kesaksian Napoleon Bonaparte ratusan tahun silam. Salah satu bentuk kebodohan yang paling lazim adalah mereka mengobral janji membangun jembatan meski di sana tidak ada sungai, begitu ungkap Nikita Khrushchev, dalam buku “The Little Black Book of Political Wisdom” terbitan Skyhorse Publishing, 2014. 

Karena itu, bila sulit mencari pemimpin baik, maka jangan jadi pemilih yang buruk, yakni pemilih yang membiarkan pemimpin buruk tetap memimpin. Saat akan memilih, bertanyalah pada hati. Sebab hati akan menjadi saksi pertama yang tak pernah bohong.***

980 thoughts on “Pohon Kepemimpinan

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