Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you the leadership of Mao Zedong, locally known in China as Chairman Mao. In this discussion, I shall discuss and elaborate completely the definition of leadership, the background of Mao Zedong and how he rose to power. In addition, we shall discuss the remarkable occasions and events around Mao Zedong’s leadership, the criterion of leadership he used and the effectiveness of his leadership. It shall be my pleasure to share with you all that and once again welcome to the discussion.
For a start, a leader is any person who is capable of directing and creating a positive impact that influences a group of individuals or a society towards achieving some set goals. The basic function of a leader is to set goals and measures for the society he is in charge of and then put them into practice using different strategies. A successful leader should always be supportive to the people he leads and be available to address emerging needs in the society. Similarly, good leaders should have the courage to support their own opinions and fight tirelessly to achieve the set goals. Such a leader never succumbs to any kind of pressure and has the interests of those he or she leads at heart.
Comparatively, an outstanding leader should be capable to communicate effectively to the people they lead so as to satisfy the public demands and desires fully. In other words, such a communication technique helps in the definition of the set goals. As if that is not enough, an outstanding leader should be humble such that he or she listens and addresses the demands of the people he or she leads. With all that knowledge, it is now possible to define leadership which is the process by which one guides and leads a society to achieve some given goals. Good leaders are all over the world with their qualities and leadership styles varying depending on the setting of the society they lead. An example of such an exemplary leader is Mao Zedong who is the subject of our discussion.
Mao Zedong was born in in the year 1893 in a village called Shoshana, Hunan province. He is described to have come from a rich peasant family, but they still had to work hard in order to earn their living. He had a great urge to read and from an early age, he read historical novels which talked mainly about rebellious and unaccepted military leaders. When he was fifteen years his father told him to leave school and start farming. As a young boy Mao joined the army to be able to pay his father’s debts; his father also went to the army and used the money he got from the odd jobs, to get a piece of land. To add on to that he had an arranged marriage, which he declined in order to go to school. He left home at the age of seventeen to finish his elementary school on his own; at Hunan which is the capital of Changsha.
It was from here that he started to hear about revolutionary world surrounding the Chinese society. He read works of nationalistic reformers. In addition, he really admired the strong emperors in the early period of the Chinese history .Therefore it was sad for him to see the last Chinese dynasty come to an end. Moreover, his stay in the army was very brief and uneventful. He finished the normal school and traveled to the capital Beijing where he was given a post in the library. There, he met the dean Chen duxuiy and the librarian li daz hao. It is also in Beijing that he was caught up in the may forth movement. He took a lot of odd jobs to sustain him but he devoted his time reading, writing and talking about revolution.
There were sequential events which took place enabling Mao to rise to power. By 1920 he had described himself as a Marxist in theory and to an extent in action and he was also among the group that formed the Chinese communist party. He was also a great participant of the united front and of much contribution to his later career, was his appointment to the nationalist party peasant movement training institute. His work which involved ideological and organizational instruction for peasant leaders opened his eyes to the great change capability to the Chinese peasantry. He married in 1921 and his wife died but he later got a second wife who bore him 5 children.
From what I have stated earlier, Mao Zedong was the founder of the Chinese communist party. Under his leadership, the party fought from one victory to another until it took power in 1949.Mao’s ways now guided the communists in their organization, way of thinking, and their action. In giving Mao their belief, they found unity understanding of the nature, strength, strategy and tactics of the revolution. Up to 1930, he put together his rule over the party in the years after the long march and took control over the technique during the Sino-Japanese war and the civil war. Following the formation of the people’s republic of china, in 1949, Mao was responsible for the political beginnings that changed China. This included land reform, and improvement of agriculture. He really continued to be sober in order to see what the newest form of oppression was and he was also sensitive to the interest of the oppressed.
In the 1960s he still went on to challenge continued what he viewed as new forms of domination he led china’s withdrawal from the Soviet Union. In his homeland, he increasingly became wary of his subordinates way of tackling development fearing that it was spearheading deep political and social inequalities.in 1966 he initiated the great plot sectarian cultural revolution. Taking advantage of dissatisfaction among some students and others. The cultural revolutionary was able to remove the people who did not come into terms with his policies, but led to serious lack of order, forcing Mao to call the military to maintain order in 1967.
While in power, Mao Zedong did remarkable things and established different projects and policies which were of great help to Chinese people although some were highly criticized. Immediately after coming to power, Zedong introduced the great leap forward scheme which he purposively established to help in modernizing the Chinese industrial society. This scheme paid more attention on heavy industries which are the backbone of Chinese economy and adversely determine the growth of China. In this scheme, peasants were urged to engage on heavy infrastructural projects remembering that floods and drought had previously affected peasants claiming the lives of many innocent citizens. Additionally, the scheme illegalized small scale production where peasants produce food for their own use as this would not meet the food supply demand of China. However, this scheme had an adverse effect on the environment as confirmed by Kampen. During the same time, he stopped the humiliation of Chinese people by western nations through the signing of unequal treaties. This led to rapid economic growth of China.
With the failure of the great forward leap scheme, Mao Zedong feared for his political fame hence he launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966. As clarified by (Karl, 2010), this project was set to deliberately overthrow those in leadership and were in opposition of Zedong’s leadership. By then, there was continuous conflict between young people and teenagers with many losing their lives in the process. Unfortunately, this conflict led to the destruction of Chinese heritage and prosecution of young people who were involved in the war as confirmed by (Mao, 1972). ).
By the same token, Mao introduced a nuclear bomb and missile plant in China which empowered the Chinese army enabling it to engage in any warfront. Oil production significantly increased during his reign as he financed research of more oil wells and encouraged the locals to work in the oil mines calling for higher wages. Uniquely, Mao never faced any significant opposition during his reign although many accused him of assassinating any influential figure who was opposed to him. Before his death in 1971 Mao made his last public address where he appointed Hua Kuo Fong as his successor. This was all in the zeal to help his people although the international community declared this undemocratic.
As a leader, Zedong had superior leadership qualities as we shall discuss in this section. Kindly join me as we go through them. Firstly, he was a creative and innovative leader. Because of this, he was popularly called the dreamer for he came up with the Marxist communism ideology by his own. In the same note, Zedong was an intelligent leader given he was able to rise to the most influential political position despite the fact that he was from a peasant family. He would read books on his own and published many articles from them. Notably, a good leader should be persistent in everything he or she does.
Mao Zedong was definitely such a leader. He never agave up despite the failure of the great leap forward scheme. He strategically launched the Cultural Revolution project. Similarly, Zedong was a foresighted man who could foresee his nation being modelled by Marxist’s communism ideas thus regaining international dominance. An important quality of Zedong was his charismatic nature as he was always visionary and appealing to the Chinese people. He never faced opposition during his leadership as he silenced anyone who questioned his policies.
During the period Mao was the leader, China witnessed intense economic growth with many treaties being signed to help China relate efficiently with the rest of the world. He empowered his army through establishment of a nuclear weapons and missiles center and increased industrial activities in China. Most importantly, the living standards of the people of China improved with many children receiving education unlike the reigns of previous leaders. It is therefore just to conclude that Mao’s leadership was defective despite the few weaknesses he had. China always remembered and honored him as a great leader whenever they think of economic growth and industrialization of the county.
To sum up, leadership depends on the interests of a leader and the cooperation of those under their leadership. Good leaders are rare in the world but Chinese people were lucky to have such a leader rule them for some years. Mao possessed all the qualities of a good leader; ranging from a family man to a strong and influential leader with great visions for his country. With all that, I am certain you can all join me to conclude that Mao was an effective leader who saw China grow to a better society. It is the desire of each country and society to have such influential leaders and reformers who can change their living styles to that extend. Sadly, time comes for any leader to come out of power. Mao died in 1971 after addressing his people and endorsing Hua Kuo-Feng as his successor. Join me in urging every leader in the society to live such an exemplary live serving the interests of his people first. Thank you all for being my audience. It has been my pleasure to share with you.
Mao, Z. (1972). Quotations from chairman Mao Tse-Tung. Peking: Foreign Languages Press.
Kampen, T., & Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. (1999). Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and the evolution of the Chinese. Copenhagen: NIAS.
Karl, R. E. (2010). Mao Zedong and China in the twentieth-century world: A concise history. Durham [NC: Duke University Press.