the earlier writers of the anti-capitalistic and anti-imperialist
school as the essential attributes of the 'leader' in developing
countries. Writing at the turn of the century, they stressed toughness
and indifference to the feeling of others: patriotism, possibly, but
only if allied to the 'main chance', cupidity rather than courage,
cunning and duplicity rather than constructiveness and imagination.
This image has left an abiding impression on the popular mind: it was,
even in the circumstances of the earlier days, a caricature, but
caricature must have some element of truth in it if it is to
make its mark. The main object of attack was the personality of C. J.
Rhodes, and, undoubtedly, there was an element of ruthlessness and of
brutality in his character. It was easy enough to neglect other aspects
of his very complex make-up, and to imply that what was true, even
though only partially true, in this description was the important
element in the man as a whole, and to imply, further, that the whole
class of emergent leaders possessed similar undesirable qualities to
which their undoubted success could be attributed.
is, of course, true that the business leader requires, among other
qualities, an element of toughness, that is to say, an ability to stand
strain and to run risks. If he does not possess this attribute, he will
not succeed in overcoming difficult situations: they will overcome him.
He must be able to put up with opposition and prevail; he must be able
to command loyalty—but loyalty is not to be won by ruthlessness and
harshness: these particular qualities may gain obedience, but that is a
very different matter. He must be able to choose subordinates and
colleagues; he must understand the age in which he lives and the
changes which are necessitated by the growth of technique and the
alterations in demand and supply as well as the influences likely to be
exerted by the course of politics and the shifting currents of world
opinion. And, in these latter respects, as well as in the former, the
position has changed enormously in the course of the last sixty years.
range of competition is, in fact, much greater in the modern world than
it was in the past, in spite of the attempts to control market
conditions by cartelization and, with governmental assistance, or even
through governmental insistence, by 'commodity' controls, tariffs and
quotas, and similar devices. At the beginning of the twentieth century,
the world still depended upon the 'tropics' for the supply, for
instance, of such an essential raw material as rubber. Not only have
the areas of 'natural' supply expanded, but rubber is only one of