Refusal of rulers to leave office
Entrenched public figures
Strong and dynamic leaders are essential to move an organization forward. Indeed, without their direction, energy and commitment, an organization might never get off the ground. The risk is that dependency can develop upon one or a few people which blocks further development. A cult of personality can develop around those who always speak for the group, paving the way for an imbalance of power.
The death in 1993 of President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast brought to an end 33 years of continuous rule. Excluding monarchs, Cuba's Fidel Castro, who came into power in 1959, and North Korea's Kim Il-sung, who has been president since 1948 (died in 1994), are the only world's leaders to have been in power longer. Others rulers with lengthy terms are King Hussein of Jordan (since 1952), Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (since 1965), Dr Hastings Banda of Malawi (since 1966), General Suharto of Indonesia (since 1968) and Colonel Muammar Gadafy of Libya (since 1969).
Few of history's most successful leaders have had the discipline and self-knowledge to relinquish power at the most appropriate moment.