This post has 1700words(5minutes read)
Imagine you’re told you have just twenty-four hours to live on this planet, what are the things you will start doing, and what are the things you will you stop doing?
I always begin my day with this question of time and purpose, and I wish to pass on this motivational question to you as we dwell on one of the rare commodities in the world today.
In one word: It is “leadership.”
There is no human need in our twenty-first century world that is as pressing as the need of effective leadership.
My desire is to cause you to revisit the original concept of leadership so that you can become a person of positive influence in your community.
On this note, let’s ride on with five untold truths of leadership.
1. Leaders are neither born nor made. You choose to become a leader.
The ancient Greek debate whether leaders are born or made has caused some people to believe that some people are born leaders while others are born followers. This philosophy is false. As true as this may sound, it limits many people from exercising their leadership potential.
I go with the perspective of best-selling author and leader, Stephen Covey, who quoted in his book The 8th Habit Of Highly Effective People that:
“Leaders are neither born nor made, but are self-made by their chosen responses.”
Once again, Myles Munroe in his book, The Spirit Of Leadership shades more light to this concept when he says:(I paraphrase):
“We are all born with a spirit of leadership(leadership potential) but it is our choice to tap into that potential to manifest our leadership traits.
What these two great authors are saying is that, irrespective of your temperament or your inborn traits, you have the potential to become a person of significant influence.
Leadership is all about influence. It is either you influence people positively or negatively. The choice is yours. Bad leaders influence people negatively while good leaders influence people positively.
Leadership is not a birthright. It is the choice you make to become a person of influence by virtue of your character, values and standards.
No amount of education or leadership course will make you a good leader if you’ve note undergone an internal transformation of your self-image( the spirit of your mind).
Many schools on leadership and administration train young people to occupy leadership positions rather than training them to become change catalyst in their communities.
That’s why we see a lot of leadership failure in the world, and in our nation Cameroon today.
This bring me to the second point:
2. Your position does not make you a leader, value does.
So many youths today are contented with the catchphrase “ the youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” This slogan, in my opinion seems to insinuate the fact that leadership is a function of time and position.
This probably explains why many youths today have no vision, and would do whatever it takes to occupy a leadership position in future even if it means to manipulate, bribe, corrupt or kill someone to just to gain a false sense of security.
If you want to be a true leader, learn how to add value to humanity. do not wait to occupy a position before you start exercising spontaneous acts of service in your local community, group or church.
A true leader is defined by the value he or she adds to the community and not by the position they occupy. The more problems you solve, the more influential you become.
Many people followed Jesus, not because he held a position. They followed him because he added value and meaning to their lives.
3. Leadership is not just a factor of aptitude. It is more of attitude.
90% of leadership failure is attributed to bad character.
It takes courage to live a discipline life, and discipline is not taught to anyone in school. It is a choice you make to do that which is right all the time.
Even people who are indiscipline admire disciplined people.
You build moral authority by setting high moral standards and values for yourself every day of your life.
Find one positive value and make it your identity. It could be timeliness, servant hood, respect, decent dressing, pleasant words, hospitality, trustworthiness…you name it. People are naturally attracted to someone who sets high moral standards and values.
Let people know you for one good thing, and do not compromise your values or integrity for cheap things.
The worst thing in the world is to fail while compromising your own values. If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for anything.
You are your own book.Whatever you do today will work against you tomorrow. It is a guarantee that will not fail. So rewrite a good story about yourself.
Leadership doesn’t happen overnight. It starts now. Do not wait for tomorrow to become a leader.
4. Leadership is not self-service. It is servanthood.
Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven life qoutes that
“Thousands of books have been written on leadership, but a few on servanthood. Everyone wants to lead, but no one wants to be a servant.”Rick Warren(page 257 paragraph 4)
The world view of leadership is all about prestige, receiving honour, having all the money, seeking for popularity, being the boss, or lording over people.
Some of us think the reason we go to school is so we could become directors, ministers, magistrates, bosses, managers, and so on. All of which are good.
But the purpose of schooling is to develop skills to serve the community, and not to serve ourselves.
I guess you aspire to play a meaningful role in our society. Yes, it is a noble desire to be in a position to lead your society. But the question stands: Do you have a heart of service?
- A doctor without a heart of service is a murderer.
- A business person without a heart of service is a scammer.
- A nurse without a heart of service is a viper.
- A lawyer without a heart of service is a monster.
- A teacher without a heart of service is an atomic bomb to the society,
- A student without a heart of service is as contagious as COVID-19.
True leadership begins when you start to think like a servant.
Servants think more about others than about themselves. Unfortunately, a lot of leadership today is self-serving leadership.
- When was the last time you offered to share a meal with a friend in need?
- When was the last time you opened a door for your schoolmate?
- When was the last time you offered a word of encouragement to your teachers, your schoolmates, the school guards or the school cleaners?
- When was the last time you offered your seat to an elderly person in your neighborhood?
- When was the last time you volunteered to sacrifice your time to do something for others?
Little things matter, they say. Doing ordinary things extraordinarily is a mark of true leadership.
And once again, it takes the mind of a servant to attain this level of leadership.
They greatest leader of all taught us in Mark 10:43-45:
“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The greatest leader in the world died as the greatest servant of humanity. What a lesson for us to emulate.
Certificates do not make you a leader. Skills do.
The average Cameroonian scholar loves to boast about the level of education they’ve attained and the certificates they’ve acquired. Hardly would you hear them talk about the skills they’ve developed.
However, I do not blame them for this demise. Our educational stakeholders sold this lie to us that’s why we have so many job seekers today instead of job creators.
The educational stakeholders in most African communities continue to wonder, and even argue why our educational system should change.
While other developed countries are racing for 5G and Nano technology on global stage, Africans are seated comfortably as spectators clapping for China and America as they wrestle to win the race. What we forgot to know is that whoever wins that race will control us in the future.
African students, wake up from slumber.
The world is now a global village. You can learn anything in the world in the confines of your home just a mouse click-away. The internet is flooded with thousands of tutorials on YouTube on every conceivable subject you can imagine.
Rather than using these precious resources to grow our skills, we spend time doing fun and easy things instead of hard and necessary things.
Time is of the essence. You can learn any skill in the world if you invest your time correctly.
Note that skills pay bills, not certificates.
What skills are you developing today to become a a change catalyst tomorrow?
Leadership author and guru, John Maxwell, was right when he said:
“Everything rises and falls on Leadership.”John Maxwell
African students, please wake up from slumber and exercise your inherent leadership potential starting today .
Time waits for nobody.
Once again, if you were told that you have just 24 hours to live on planet earth, what are the things you will start doing, and the things you will stop doing?
Your answer to this question will determine your level of preparedness for true leadership.
Go and change the world.
Wish you a blessed Matriculation ceremony.