DEEP THOUGHTS

EVERY MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY

LEADERSHIP: A FAR CRY FROM ITS PURPOSE
“He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk” – Malawian Proverb
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a Leader is “a person who manages or controls other people especially because of his position, while the Oxford dictionary defines “Leadership” as the “act or action of leading a group of people or an organization. The dictionary’s definition is the result or outcome of a leader, but doesn’t explain what it takes to be a leader.
There is no textbook guide to an effective leadership because while one style may work, it may be totally despised and frowned upon in another society. Some leaders may be effective using fear and intimidation, some through charisma and motivation, but one thing is certain: all of them strive towards their respective goals.
Unfortunately, most Leaders today especially in Africa do not understand the importance and values of leadership and misapply its gifts to devastating ends. Those who thrive on fear and intimidation enforce draconian subjugation on their followers, while those who use charisma and motivation tend to be lackadaisical and complacent in the discharge of their duties.
However, the truth about being a leader as the dictionary defines is the “management” and “leading” of people. The dictionary includes control because it may be effective, but it is not efficient. A true leader who wants to be effective must as a priority be able to manage and lead people to achieve his goals. He must not necessarily exercise control and restraint. Any leader who places control above all other attributes is a leader with no purpose and goals. Leading people is about imparting into people’s lives, bringing out the best in them and in most cases instilling confidence in them. 
In managing and leading people also ensure you maximize the valuable assets of your followers for bountiful success. Any leader who feels he/she can work better alone does not have leadership potentials. He is a “ticking time-bomb” who will make his followers lose confidence in him.
Lastly, it is important to note that someone in a position of leadership is not always right, that is why if he is able to manage and lead his followers effectively, they will be able to point out some things he may have overlooked and even plausible suggestions to daunting challenges. Also in a situation where he goes wrong, he will have people to  share the burden with. It’s a case of “You are wrong, I am wrong, but together we are right”.
As Ronald Reagan puts it “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things”.

- Odigwe Jilams

Jilams Odigwe is an enthusiastic writer who borders the line between a realist and optimist. His love for art is fluid, which makes Bon vivant of some sort...
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