I want to define leadership, as an action , or process of leading, or directing a group of people, or an organisation ; by way of motivation , in order to achieve a common goal. I also think that the common goal every committed leader targets is success. To achieve the desired success, I also think that a professional driver , who knows the way to the destination, should be on the steering wheel. This is why, John C Maxwell said “A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way “ . This infers that, a leader must be experienced, not an amateur, or myopic.
Talking about maturity, experience, and professionalism in leadership, it means that a leader should have the capacity to translate vision into reality. This directly tells us that , a vision less leader could be described as an accident looking for somewhere to happen. A vision less leader, could be likened to a blind man, leading full sighted people. In this scenario, two things are bound to happen. One, either the leader becomes the led, or the blind leader will lead the people into darkness.
Leadership is all about action, and not position. Action points to the versatility of the leader, in executing humanitarian programmes, and projects. It is not peps of office, nor the special / choice ‘chewable, and drinkables “you are served at occasions.
I have also learned that leadership is all about inspiration. As a leader, ones action should be able to inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. Positive influence is also key to great leadership, not authority, marginalization, factionalism, etc. It is all about team work. Not all about me, but we. The bible made us to understand that, “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.”
Leadership is indeed, a great task, that requires great wisdom, knowledge, understanding , sincerity, above all, integrity. As a vehicle driver, no experienced driver matches his brakes, when his tyre bursts on the highway. What he is expected to do is to bring his experience and wisdom to bear. These will enable him to control the vehicle to a safe stop, without any casualty. If he does the contrary, he may not only loose his vehicle, his life and others may also be in danger.
Therefore, a leader should be wise enough to know how to navigate his subjects to safety, when there is crisis, instead of taking a plunge. No experienced driver hops into his vehicle in the morning and drives off, without doing the needful, in terms of observing the routine checks on water, and oil.
A leader therefore, is expected to be in control, and as well, be in the know, of what is happening in his environment.
One key factor which usually brings people down, or up in every leadership exercise is accountability. Mary Lamdriue captured it well thus, “ Accountability at every level is critical , and leadership begins at the top. “ . However, this is the aspect of leadership, which many leaders have failed badly. Such leaders think that , immunity covers them , even when they feast on public funds. Many leaders have failed because of this very shameful trait. While some have succeeded enormously because, according to Stephen R Covey, “ Accountability breeds response ability “, . Because of the critical nature of accountability, no one would like to plant in a barren land , or invest in a leaking pocket. This affirms the position of Bob Proctor who says, ‘ Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results “.Yes, when people know that there money or efforts will be accounted for, they are willing to respond to their commitments, thereby producing results.
It is also a fact that people come into leadership positions for different reasons. Some come for service, which is what leadership is all about, while others come to loot, settle scores, and other self projects. This also we know, it’s not what leadership is all about.
No matter the reasons that may drive people into leadership, one thing is sure. Posterity must remember that person. Especially, in community leadership which is our focus today. Abu nde Anglican si, “ Nanioluanyik’agaejichetaanyi “. The community, like the family is the bedrock of the society. It is our foundation. In life, and in death, it is our last bus stop. It therefore behoves on a community leader to understand that, after rain, comes shine. Nothing can be hidden, under the sun. Immunity, if there is anything like that in community leadership, is always ephemeral. There is always an end to any leadership position. A time, when the leader, will become the citizen.
A close observer of what is happening todayin Aro, under the leadership of Mazi George Ezuma, PG Worldwide , will understand better, the words of Stephen R Covey, as I stated earlier, “ Accountability breeds response ability “, and Bob Proctor’s affirmation, “ Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results “.
We have also seen the capacity to translate vision into reality, which is a trade mark of quality leadership. I get excited in my spirit each time I see what is happening in Aro Development Forum (ADF) Every kobo received is announced, and accounted for. Proctor says, “ Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results “ , I want to say that, accountability, is the magnet, that attracts commitment, which breed results. They not only give online accounts, they take the extra mile of publishing financial records on Aro News quarterly. What a crystal show of transparency, and accountability! Integrity on display.
Umu Aro all over the world are now competing to be part of the projects going on in Aro. People who do not have money to contribute at the moment, appreciate those who are bringing money. Issues are brought to the front burner for discussion. People are free to make their opinions . Sometimes, we disagree on principles, to agree, for Aro development. This has always trilled me.
I therefore want to enjoin other leaders in Aro Kingdom, from villages, to families, women groups, even in the churches , to embrace this trend. It really pays. But for those who may think it does not matter, let it be known to you that, POSTERITY WILL SURELY BE A HASH JUDGE TO YOU, SOME DAY.
Let us try and do that, which will make our memory, both in life and death, an inspiration, and motivation, to those coming behind us .
Long Live AroOkigbo !