What Nigerian Politicians & Leaders Must Know About Leadership
Leadership is perceived differently by many people. Ask an average politician in Nigeria to define leadership, he will say is all about leading the people. I love the definition given by John C.
Maxwell, a leadership expert himself; he says “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It’s about one life influencing another.” I would like to add a definition of the word leadership, according to oxfords learners advance dictionary, it says “leadership is the capacity of someone to lead or the ability to be a leader and the qualities a good leader should have.”
This makes me to sit down and think that I should write about this subject because what most of our leaders don’t understand about leadership is that, it’s an ability meant to win the heart of the people. What most of our leaders today are after is the prestige and power that comes with the position and probably the reward attached to the position.”
What our leaders don’t understand is that any outstanding leaders must appeal to the heart and mind of their followers. Let take this, if we reflect on most well-remembered political leaders in
America history, you will find men who are able to grasp the heart of the people they lead. Men such as Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan to mention but a few. Look at African icon Nelson Mandela. It is not about group, it’s about the ability to cast a vision, to empathize, to spark hope, to speak to the heart.
Becky Bodin also said that “Leadership is not about wielding authority but about empowering the people. From my view, I can say too many leaders make mistake of thinking when they reach the top, it means they can use their position and power to force certain behaviors from their subordinate. We’ve all made the statement ” if am in charge all will be different”. However leadership is not about a power tour but about giving them the tools they need to do the job.
But leaders nowadays get intoxicated with power, no wonder Lord Acton postulated that “Power corrupt, absolute power corrupt absolutely” Also Thinas Hobbes said “Every human being is a political animal and get intoxicated with power to the extreme they are told they have such power”.
To our Leaders, my advice for you is that you should always listen to your followers; you should know that Leadership is not about wielding authority but about empowering the people.
Conclusively, let me leave this thought that “Leadership development is a lifetime journey not a brief trip”. The Character of people are known when they are place in the position of power. I appeal to our leaders to learn the different categories of leader and choose the type they want to be and to be remembered for.
I submit with Abraham Lincoln landmark quote which says “The surest way to reveal one’s character is not through adversity but by giving them power.
Ekiti State University, Ado, Ekiti