Below are the 10 rules for a great leader, as written by Al-Ghazali (c. 1058–1111), a Persian muslim philosopher. More than thousand years old, but still relevant today:
1) He should not abuse his authority
The ruler should understand the importance and danger of the authority entrusted to him. In authority there is great blessing, since he who exercises it righteously obtained unsurpassed happiness but if any ruler fails to do so he incurs torment (in the afterlife) surpassed only by the torment for unbelief.
2) He should consult a council of the people
The ruler should always be thirsting to meet devout religious scholars and ask them for advice.
3) He is accountable for his own unjust deeds, as well as unjust deeds from his staff
The ruler should understand that he must not covet the wives of other men and be content with personally refraining from injustice, but must discipline his slave-troops, servants, and officers and never tolerate unjust conduct by them; for he will be interrogated (in the afterlife) not only about his own unjust deeds but also about those of his staff.
4) He should have his emotions under control and be virtuous
The ruler should not be dominated by pride; for pride gives rise to the dominance of anger, and will impel him to revenge. Anger is the evil genius and blight of the intellect. If anger is becoming dominant it will be necessary for the ruler in all his affairs to bend his inclinations in the direction of forgiveness and make a habit of generosity and forbearance unless he is to be like the wild beasts.
5) He should not give any order that he would not obey himself
In every situation that arises, the ruler should figure that he is the subject and the other person is the holder of authority. He should not sanction for others anything that he would not sanction for himself. For if he would do so he would be making fraudulent and treasonable use of the authority entrusted to him.
6) He should listen to grievances of the people and work in their best interest
The ruler should not disregard the attendance of petitioners at his court and should beware of the danger of so doing. He should solve the grievances of the good and peaceful people.
7) He should not strive for more and more luxurious personal lifestyle
The ruler should not form a habit of indulging the passions. Although he might dress more finely or eat more sumptuously, he should be content with all that he has; for without contentment, just conduct will not be possible.
8) He should behave gently and avoid governing harshly
The ruler should make the utmost effort to behave gently and avoid governing harshly.
9) He should be willing to learn about his faults
The ruler should endeavor to keep all the subjects pleased with him. The ruler should not let himself be so deluded by the praise he gets from any who approach him as to believe that all the subjects are pleased with him. On the contrary, such praise is entirely due to fear. He must therefore appoint trustworthy persons to gather intelligence and inquire about his standing among the people, so that he may be able to learn his faults from men’s tongues.
10) He should never agree with a contravention of the law
The ruler should not give satisfaction to any person if a contravention of God’s law would be required to please him, for no harm will come from such a person’s displeasure.